Oakland High School Band Takes A Knee, Sends Most Powerful Message Yet

The crowd responded with enthusiastic applause

Call it the “Kaepernick effect” or call it a small gesture of support for those affected by police brutality, but it appears that silent protests at sporting events are spreading.

On Tuesday, students from Oakland Unified School District’s honor band took a knee during their rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” before the Oakland A’s game in the Oakland Coliseum. These weren’t pro sports players, celebrities, or noted activists. Instead, they were just regular middle and high school students concerned about the treatment of black Americans by police.

Some members of the band knelt in silent solidarity with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his message against police violence.

Instead of being reprimanded, the school district praised the students’ actions on social media. A Facebook post by the school read:

“Toward the end of the song, most of the 155 middle and high school students took a knee in protest against police brutality and unfair treatment of people of color in America.”

The students were following in the footsteps of Kaepernick, who has been vocal against police brutality in recent weeks and who was recently featured on the cover of TIME magazine for his silent protests. In August, Kaepernick told NFL media:

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

According to The Huffington Post, police have killed at least 67 people, including 15 black people, since Kaepernick took a knee, with only one officer, Betty Shelby, being charged with manslaughter.


Some beauty pageants, like the Miss America competition, have done away with the swimsuit portions of the competitions, thus dipping their toes in the 21st century. Other aspects of beauty pageants remain stuck in the 1950s, and we're not even talking about the whole "judging women mostly on their looks" thing. One beauty pageant winner was disqualified for being a mom, as if you can't be beautiful after you've had a kid. Now she's trying to get the Miss World competition to update their rules.

Veronika Didusenko won the Miss Ukraine pageant in 2018. After four days, she was disqualified because pageant officials found out she was a mom to 5-year-old son Alex, and had been married. Didusenko said she had been aware of Miss World's rule barring mother from competing, but was encouraged to compete anyways by pageant organizers.

Keep Reading Show less

One mystery in our universe is a step closer to being solved. NASA's Parker Solar Probe launched last year to help scientists understand the sun. Now, it has returned its first findings. Four papers were published in the journal Nature detailing the findings of Parker's first two flybys. It's one small step for a solar probe, one giant leap for mankind.

It is astounding that we've advanced to the point where we've managed to build a probe capable of flying within 15 million miles from the surface of the sun, but here we are. Parker can withstand temperatures of up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit and travels at 430,000 miles per hour. It's the fastest human-made vehicle, and no other human-made object has been so close to the sun.

Keep Reading Show less
via Sportstreambest / Flickr

Since the mid '90s the phrase "God Forgives, Brothers Don't" has been part of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point's football team's lexicon.

Over the past few years, the team has taken the field flying a black skull-and-crossbones flag with an acronym for the phrase, "GFBD" on the skull's upper lip. Supporters of the team also use it on social media as #GFBD.

Keep Reading Show less