McCallum HS cheerleaders take a knee at game

Cheerleaders are there to get the crowd going and to support the team.

But as fans removed their hats at Thursday night's game against Austin High School and stood to salute the flag and sing the national anthem, some members of the McCallum High School cheerleading squad took a different approach and kicked off the game by taking a knee on the sideline during the national anthem.

McCallum High School senior Demonte Alexander, who runs track and wrestles on a team, said he chooses to stand during the national anthem and advices others to stand.

"No I think you should because it's respectful."

He said it’s a part of the country's rich tradition and people should value that. "It’s been going on for so long, it's one of those things like why change it? It’s not hurting anyone,” Alexander said.

A tradition President Trump is weighing in on by tweeting about the controversy, saying it's "important that players stand" during the national anthem and calling the act disrespectful.
A local parent Pascal Simon said she doesn’t agree with the president on the matter and she supports the cheerleader’s decision. “They're kids and their exploring and they're having an opinion right now, and choosing to take a stand,” said Simon. 

Simon said it's not just about politics, it’s about teaching students to make decisions and letting them exercise their rights. "To see how it makes them feel. We are all just experimenting even as adults sometimes we change our minds,” Simon said. "I think the president has other things to worry about then people taking the knee or not."

Even though Alexander doesn’t agree with those protesting the national anthem he still agrees that people should have the right to make up their own minds and take actions they feel are right. “But if people want to take a knee let them take a knee but if they don't want to take a knee they don't have too,” Alexander said.

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