A pair of high school cheerleaders from California earned high praise from National Public Radio for kneeling during the national anthem at their high school games.
One was even highlighted for writing her own, Black Lives Matter-styled version of the “Star Spangled Banner.”
Cheerleaders Sasha Armbrester and Teana Boston of James Logan High School in Union City have been protesting against the U.S. for most of this year. The teens claim that former NFL player Colin Kaepernick “inspired” them to launch their protests, but, they also say their high school class work made them want to stand against the country, too.
In a December 1 piece published in the name of cheerleader Sasha Armbrester, the cheer team member insisted that the “ethnic studies” class she took in high school taught her that the U.S.A. is not a good place and made her reconsider standing in honor of the country during the national anthem.
Miss. Armbrester went on to say that her school classes taught her to look at American history “through a black lens.”
“We learned about suffering and that sometimes history isn’t even history. I was 10 when Trayvon Martin was shot, and the man who killed him didn’t even go to jail,” she wrote.
Armbrester went on to insist that she became a cheerleader to “become a role model” for others and, in her opinion, standing against the country was a good way of being a leader. It was one “small thing” she could do to “call attention to racism,” she wrote.
The teenager also posted some of the new lyrics that her cheer team member and friend wrote to replace the patriotism of the “Star Spangled Banner” with a more race-oriented theme.
Part of the new lyrics seems to allude to the false “hands up, don’t shoot” slogan from Black Lives Matter. With a line reading: “But there is something about this sight. He crawled in the street, hands spread out like his feet but he was still shot in his heart. And I don’t get that part.”
“I did my research on what I was really singing about,” Teana Boston told Armbrester about her new lyrics, “and I have to realize that it’s not the land of the free. So we have to not just say, yeah, freedom, yeah.”
Armbrester did admit that many people think she is wrong with her protest. “We felt the heat, even from the coaches,” she wrote.
But, ultimately the protests will continue. As Armbrester’s friend, Jada McMurry added, “I’m still doing it. I don’t care.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.