IRVINGTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Players and coaches from a New Jersey high school football team took a knee during the national anthem ahead of a game in Irvington on Friday night.
Isaiah Gordon, and Ibn Ingram of Newark’s Barringer High School were joined by at least five teammates, and assistant coaches Markyse Joseph and Buchie Ibeh in taking a knee before taking the field against Irvington.READ MORE: Veteran Falls Victim To Phishing Scam, Loses $19,000 From Chase Bank Account Meant For Daughter's College Education
As NJ.com reported, a handful of spectators also remained seated in the stands.
Gordon and Ingram organized the demonstration which was the latest in a series of peaceful protests by athletes of all levels around the country in response to the deaths of civilians at the hands of police.
Gordon and Ingram — both seniors — said they have been kneeling throughout most of the season to protest police violence against unarmed black men.
“We see how the cops are treating people and I don’t stand for that, and I don’t think the national anthem should stand for that,” Gordon said. “Until that changes, I’m not going to stand up. I’m going to keep kneeling.”READ MORE: 'Makes Americans More Free': Dana Zzyym Issued 1st U.S. Passport With Gender X Designation
A Washington Post database that tracks police shootings claims that of the 707 people fatally shot by cops in 2016, 164 were black men.
“I feel like I’m next. I really don’t want to go outside,” Gordon told NJ.com.
Ingram said kneeling was a way to show solidarity in the community.
“It shows a stand that we’re together; that we’re standing together through all the obstacles,” Ingram told NJ.com. “We might not know each other, but we’re brothers. We’re all going through the same things. We’re going to ride together.”MORE NEWS: Inside Look At 9 DeKalb Avenue, Brooklyn's Tallest Skyscraper
Barringer Head Coach Ron London called it a personal decision, and said he did not have an issue with the move.