News

Elections

O’Rourke Invites High-School Football Players Who Kneeled for Anthem to Debate

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke speaks during a kickoff rally in El Paso, Texas, March 30, 2019. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Three former Michigan high-school football players who were disciplined after kneeling for the national anthem will attend the second round of Democratic primary debates with Beto O’Rourke on Tuesday, the Associated Press reports.

O’Rourke invited four former players: Michael Lynn III, Matthew Abdullah, Kabbalah Richards, and RoJe Williams, all of whom were benched in 2017 after taking a knee. Richards is unable to attend the debate because he is away at college.

The African-American students were inspired by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who captured national attention in 2015 when he began kneeling during pregame ceremonies to protest what he called racial injustice in policing.

In a statement provided to the Associated Press, the former Texas congressman said the four men “have served their community in one of the most American ways possible.”

O’Rourke first learned of the four former Lansing Catholic High School players after Lynn’s family donated to O’Rourke’s Senate campaign in response to his zealous defense of the NFL players who followed Kaepernick’s lead in protesting during the national anthem.

Lynn’s family was moved to donate to O’Rourke after viewing a viral video in which O’Rourke praised Kaepernick and his fellow NFL protesters for upholding the American tradition of peaceful protest.

“I can think of nothing more American than to peacefully stand up or take a knee for your rights anytime, anywhere or anyplace,” O’Rourke said to cheers during an August campaign event that helped propel him into the national spotlight during his race against Republican senator Ted Cruz.

Lynn told the AP that he has not yet decided whom he will vote for but said that O’Rourke’s defense of Kaepernick earned his respect.

“People on the other side of it make us feel like we’re not as American as them,” Lynn said. “The fact that he said that and feels that way, from his heart, that was really powerful. That’s what put Mr. O’Rourke on my radar.”

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

The March for Life Is a March for Truth

Pro-lifers are marching today, as they do every year, to commemorate a great evil that was done in January 1973 and to express solidarity with its innocent victims. The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade eliminated legal protections for unborn children in all 50 states, and did so without any ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The March for Life Is a March for Truth

Pro-lifers are marching today, as they do every year, to commemorate a great evil that was done in January 1973 and to express solidarity with its innocent victims. The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade eliminated legal protections for unborn children in all 50 states, and did so without any ... Read More

A Nation of Barbers

It seems almost inevitable that long hair is unwelcome at Barbers Hill High School. There’s a touch of aptronymic poetry in Texas public-school dress-code disputes. When I was in school in the 1980s, at the height of the Satanism panic, the local school-district superintendent circulated a list of ... Read More

A Nation of Barbers

It seems almost inevitable that long hair is unwelcome at Barbers Hill High School. There’s a touch of aptronymic poetry in Texas public-school dress-code disputes. When I was in school in the 1980s, at the height of the Satanism panic, the local school-district superintendent circulated a list of ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Clarence Thomas Speaks

Those who know Justice Clarence Thomas say that any perception of him as dour or phlegmatic couldn't be more off-base. He's a charming, gracious, jovial man, full of bonhomie and easy with a laugh, or so I'm told by people who know him well. On summer breaks he likes to roam around the country in an RV and stay ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Clarence Thomas Speaks

Those who know Justice Clarence Thomas say that any perception of him as dour or phlegmatic couldn't be more off-base. He's a charming, gracious, jovial man, full of bonhomie and easy with a laugh, or so I'm told by people who know him well. On summer breaks he likes to roam around the country in an RV and stay ... Read More
U.S.

Nadler’s Folly

Jerry Nadler must have missed the day in law school where they teach you about persuasion. The House Democrat made a critical error early in the trial of President Trump. He didn’t just say that Republican senators, who voted to begin the proceedings without calling witnesses, were part of a cover-up. He said ... Read More
U.S.

Nadler’s Folly

Jerry Nadler must have missed the day in law school where they teach you about persuasion. The House Democrat made a critical error early in the trial of President Trump. He didn’t just say that Republican senators, who voted to begin the proceedings without calling witnesses, were part of a cover-up. He said ... Read More