On Monday night, the Oakland Unified School District (OUSC) honor band played the national anthem on one knee ahead of the Athletics’ game.
The crowd can be heard cheering when the band is announced, only to intensify when the students decided to protest while playing the anthem. The OUSD posted the following on their Facebook page outlining the students’ decision.
“Before tonight’s Oakland A’s game, the OUSD Honor Band played the National Anthem. Because of the ongoing national discussion about racial justice, which over the weekend gained steam when President Trump said, with vulgarity, that NFL players should be fired for taking a knee, most members of the band took a knee for the whole song. A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell also took a knee. The students said they were protesting racism, police brutality and the President. #iamOUSD#Oakland-Athletics”
Reaction to the video on Facebook has been largely positive. Several commenters are praising the schools for teaching the children to be civic-minded, while critics (many listed as living outside the area) are slamming the OUSD for “brainwashing” children into protesting the president.
The band has done this before. In 2016 the band was asked to play at at Oakland A’s game, where they kneeled as well in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.