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Watch: 8-Year-Old Football Players Take Knee During National Anthem

An entire Illinois football team of players aged 8 and younger took a knee rather than stand for the national anthem prior to Sunday’s game in Belleville, KTVI-TV reported.

“One of the kids asked me, did I see them protesting and rioting in St. Louis,” Orlando Gooden, coach of the Cahokia Quarterback Club, told the station. “I said, ‘Yes … do you know why they are doing it?’”

A player answered, “Because black people are getting killed, and nobody’s going to jail,” Gooden recalled to the station.

Gooden — a former University of Missouri football player, KTVI reported — said his players knew that a white former St. Louis police officer was acquitted of murder Friday in a 2011 fatal shooting of a black man after a car chase. Cahokia is a just handful of minutes south of St. Louis and across the Mississippi River.

“I felt like it was a good teaching moment for me to circle the team up and have a brief meeting,” Gooden told the station, adding that he explained why former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner” last season.

“One of the kids asked, ‘Can we do that?’ Those were his his words,” Gooden said to KTVI. “And I said, ‘As long as we know why we’re doing it, I don’t have a problem with kneeling.’”

With that, all 25 players took a knee during the national anthem at Little Devil’s Field.

Their backs were away from the flag, the station said, but Gooden said that wasn’t on purpose.

“What I teach my kids is love, integrity, honesty, fairness, respect … boundaries,” he told KTVI.

All the parents of the players supported their kids taking a knee, the station said, but a Facebook post by Gooden’s wife was hit with some backlash.

“As long as I have support of my parents and team, I’m perfectly fine,” the coach told KTVI, “and I’m covered under the First Amendment to peacefully protest and assemble.”

Gooden also told the station that he doesn’t see a need for his players to continue kneeling before games — that it was done once, and a lesson resulted.

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  1. Darrell

    September 20, 2017 at 3:28 am

    And we wonder why this country is going to hell in a hand basket with coaches teaching 8 year olds disrespect our flag and national anthem. Fire the prick.

  2. Kevin Brown

    September 20, 2017 at 3:28 am

    This is total BS and disrespectful to the men and women who fought and died for the Freedom they are taking advantage of and enjoying. If a Coach told my child to kneel I would personally have a heart to heart talk with that person.

  3. Libby

    September 20, 2017 at 3:31 am

    That coach is an idiot. If you’re an American you respect the laws of our country and you don’t per-sway our young children with your stupid point of view

  4. Richard Misel Jr

    September 20, 2017 at 3:34 am

    That is disgusting. No surprise all blacks. See who the real racists are.

    • M.V. G.

      September 20, 2017 at 4:37 am

      Well said, they are no longer any family values and respect for others rights being taught by the parents. , only out of control rude children who think they are the only one who has rights.

    • lee

      September 20, 2017 at 1:18 pm

      spot on R

    • Cheryl Fiedorczyk

      September 20, 2017 at 9:50 pm

      Well, my grandkids are black, but this mamaw would have marched on the field, collected my grandkids and they would have turned in their gear right there in front of everyone before the game started…. maybe I could have gotten that coach a “delay of game” penalty in the process!! This absolutely made me so sick at my stomach!

  5. robert g bernardini

    September 20, 2017 at 3:34 am

    Well not much of a shock with Rahm Obama and his no legacy library Chicago murder capitol of the US thats bankrupt they raise there taxes to pay for illegals while there Tax base is moving away in record numbers . So now you want to corrupt the youth even more so than the Garbage Gangsta Rap or the Satan worshiping GaGa Katy Perry and another lovely MK Ultra Disney product in Miley Cyrus yep great job ChiTown

    • Fannie

      September 20, 2017 at 4:25 am

      Absolutely and positively disgusting in every way. Just another case of kids running the life of adults

    • paulette

      September 20, 2017 at 4:26 pm


  6. Thomas G Hunt,Sr

    September 20, 2017 at 3:36 am

    A lesson in what, How to disrespect all who have died to give you the rights you take so lightly.

  7. AHZZ

    September 20, 2017 at 3:50 am

    Exhibit A:
    Bad “Parenting” & Piss Poor “Public Education” – this is what you get.

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  9. Christina Thatcher

    September 20, 2017 at 3:52 am

    Disgusting display for young children. You coach boy,need fired or relieved of coaching. You should be friggin grateful to live in America with our freedoms protected by the same people who fought under the U.S flag!

  10. Kamm k

    September 20, 2017 at 3:58 am

    The coach should be fired!! Disrespect is not acceptable! This racist bs needs to stop !!

  11. Frank

    September 20, 2017 at 4:03 am

    no matter how you call it it disrespect any one kneeling or giving the power salute in my books are communists

    • Fannie

      September 20, 2017 at 4:38 am

      No lesson learned by this – Just watch and see

  12. Rich

    September 20, 2017 at 4:19 am

    Absolute horse shit….I have coached youth sports for years and have not ever brought up politics. Simply teach them character…Did this coach also explaining how 5 Dallas police officers were assassinated do to Obama’s rhetoric. And over 30 officers nationwide died execution style over 6 months serving our cities, counties and states. The coach is clearly an immature fool

  13. Angela Langdon

    September 20, 2017 at 4:35 am

    My first thought was, it has to be a Non White School/Team, and it’s sad that we already Knew they would be.
    This Coach is Not Teaching about Love, Respect and Integrity, he is Teaching them Incorrectly, that they are being Oppressed and he is teaching them to be Racist!

    I am getting Sick of this!
    If people would take a look at the NFL, you will see that 75 to 80% of NFL players are BLACK!
    How is That being Oppressed.
    I know one thing, if they were in (their Proud Africa) they would Most of them be Jobless!

    If they want to Blame ANYONE for Slavery, they need to go on over to AFRICA AND PROTEST There and Demand Reparation from their Own Ancestors that Hunted down and Sold Their Own Ancestors as Slaves.

    People need to Learn the COMPLETE History of Slavery!

    • M.V. G.

      September 20, 2017 at 4:42 am

      Amen,AMEN AMEN

  14. Fannie

    September 20, 2017 at 4:36 am

    Children are not capable of running our world and life – but this coach is allowing it, Isn’t there already enough disrespect and no tolerance without this coach promoting it. It seems to me it is a “me first” generation already and a no tolerance generation – why add to all of that.!!!!!!! The coach to me is only promoting more of the same and should not be surprised if it is a daily or weekly thing. Poor choice coach – but perhaps you have gotten your 15 minutes of fame and looking for more. Shame on you

  15. Anassthia

    September 20, 2017 at 4:56 am

    Did you tell the 8yr olds taking a knee both sides of the story or are you being racist here? The guy was dealing in drugs of course they carry weapons they don’t want the drugs or money robbed from them he was probably a gang member too. But, no one says both sides of the story do They? All they see is white cop dead blackman. The judge even went into the details to explain it to the people but people don’t want to listen or hear or read they jump on the conclusion of the black and white theory only. Sad but you are teaching racial hate and hate toward police that is wrong in anyone’s book teach them the way to grow up smarter and not to make poor choices like dealing drugs instead your making them fear police. You adults should know better but you don’t sad world when people stand up for drug dealers.

  16. mike

    September 20, 2017 at 5:00 am

    Black pieces of shit. Racist pukes.

  17. Richie Wood

    September 20, 2017 at 5:09 am

    Poor choice of teaching. Just awful what they taught these kids. So SO So Sad


    September 20, 2017 at 5:46 am


  19. Darlene Rondeau

    September 20, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Teaching moment? I think the coach needs some teaching. He is teaching hate.

  20. lee

    September 20, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    all blacks i notice

  21. george

    September 20, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    How is this statement allowed and when a coach asks his team to take a knee and say a prayer he is told no you cant do that. Hypocrisy at its bets. Liberalism, a mental disorder.

  22. JR Whitmore

    September 20, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Kneeling under a false premise is meaningless.

  23. paulette

    September 20, 2017 at 4:00 pm


  24. paulette

    September 20, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Congradulations parents,you are now raising a bunch of anifa terrorist thugs,the black guy who got shot and killed tried to run police over,took them on a high speed chase which could have killed many,so i guess according to you people who do these things should be able to do what they want when they want how they want and why they want,no wonder kids are so screwed up in they’re heads,the parents and teachers are screwed up in they’re heads,SHAME ON ALL OF YOU

  25. paulette

    September 20, 2017 at 4:35 pm


  26. Randy

    September 20, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    In 2015, The Washington Post launched a real-time database to track fatal police shootings, and the project continues this year. As of Sunday, 1,502 people have been shot and killed by on-duty police officers since Jan. 1, 2015. Of them, 732 were white, and 381 were black (and 382 were of another or unknown race).

  27. Randy

    September 20, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    Police have shot and killed a young black man (ages 18 to 29) — such as Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. —175 times since January 2015; 24 of them were unarmed. Over that same period, police have shot and killed 172 young white men, 18 of whom were unarmed. Your PROTEST makes NO sense.

  28. Randy

    September 20, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    Peter Moskos, an assistant professor at New York City University’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, has concluded that during the period ranging from May 2013 to April of 2015 roughly 49% of those killed by LEOs were white, while only 30% were black.

  29. Randy

    September 20, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    Here are some statistics that are being roundly ignored by a media eager to push the lies that ooze out of Al Sharpton’s mouth on a daily basis: The real statistics show that cops kill whites at almost double the rate that they kill blacks.
    Talks show host and columnist Larry Elder did some actual research (something the old media establishment avoids) and found that the claim that blacks are killed by cops more often than whites are killed is simply untrue. In fact, he found that the death by cop for blacks is down 75 percent since 1999.

  30. Randy

    September 20, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    2015 there were 129 Police Officers killed
    2016 there were 140 Police Officer’s killed
    2017 there has been 14 Police Officers killed

    Gives you some indication as to why when a Police Officer tells you to do something you need to heed the Officers commands

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  33. Martin

    September 22, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Its a perfect picture of the future inductees to the ISIS local training camp and propaganda. Coach included. Did he ever teach the team its not ok to be a thug and shoot at police officers? Did they ever take any action towards a white family that suffered greatly at the hands of a black man? When you have to put a color code before “lives matter”, you have already defined that you are part of the problem. If this guy is proud of what he is teaching, and the example he is setting, he probably grew up being taught that he was somehow a victim. Disgusting. There is NO honor in this or in the parents that allow this to happen.

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