(7-31-17) Many states including Ohio are starting high school football practice for the 2017 season today, some even enjoyed a ‘Moonlight Madness” start at 12 Midnight. The way football should be, folks get excited for those Friday nights under the lights.

Last season some of the joy of going to a game in Northern Illinois lost that fun atmosphere to watch your favorite team play, thanks to a NFL Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. The 49er QB decided to be defiant during NFL games and not stand in support of the flag or the National Anthem to bring social awareness , ‘ he viewed as the oppression of non-white races in the U.S‘. His Twitter page sheds light on his current thoughts of the situation.

Kaepernick, who is now a free agent, is still looking for a team to run, one such team is the Baltimore Ravens.

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti told the Baltimore Sun:

“(Kaepernick) made some assurances through his intermediaries that there will be no protesting.”

“I know we’re going to upset some people, and I know that we’re going to make some people happy that we stood up for somebody that has the right to do what he did. Silent protesting is something that we’ve all embraced. I don’t like the way he did it personally. I like how he went from sitting to kneeling. I’m Catholic, and we’ve spent a lot of time kneeling.”

So what will Rockford (Illinois) Auburn football players do this season when they step on the field for the NIC 10 season opener at Freeport.

Last season nothing was done to stop the kneeling, coaches and school officials stood behind the players. RPS 205 (Rockford School District) decided that they would not allow access to anyone associated with the team to talk with media members after any of the incidents took place.

The Knights, kneeled at home and on the road. So was the kneeling during the National Anthem, a fad like the fidget or is it a source to get social awareness of racial injustice in America. Will it continue at Auburn?

The Ravens choice could be a big part on how others respond on the sideline this season. Is high school sports the platform to do this? That could depend on how school officials, football coaches and players move forward in the future.

Below is a recap from last season of the Auburn football team kneeling incidents.

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(9-17-16) – For the second week in a row several Rockford (Illinois) Auburn football team members kneeled during the playing of the National Anthem. RPS 205 has not taken action against the team members. This week Auburn traveled to play Belvidere, last week the Knights hosted Belvidere North, this past week their was a security issue at the school that caused many students to stay home. Belvidere District school Belvidere Police officials would not confirm or deny it had anything with the actions of the kneeling the Friday before.

Coaches and students were not allowed to talk with the media, below are statements issued by RPS 205. Auburn, who is the defending conference champion, won both games against the Belvidere teams

Auburn Head Coach Dan Appino

“The student athletes said they wanted to create more social awareness of racial injustice in America. They made it clear that they did not intend to disrespect our military; rather, they wanted to embrace the freedom of expression and other constitutional rights that our military fought so hard to preserve. This movement is sweeping the nation as a peaceful form of protest. I am not happy that football is being used as the platform for this protest, but I respect the passion our kids feel about this topic.”

RPS 205 Director of Athletic Activities & Program Development Mat Parker

“Our schools are first and foremost educational institutions. Teaching and learning in Rockford Public Schools continues even after students leave the classroom. Auburn High School coaching staff and student athletes will discuss the team members’ actions and both the coaching staff and students’ thoughts on the national anthem in what we hope will be a meaningful dialogue.”

In the Stateline (West Central Ohio or East Central Indiana) area no reports of football players taking a knee during the National Anthem have been reported. The act is starting to pick-up steam; including more players in the NFL.

At the end of the Columbia City-DeKalb (Indiana) game, both teams kneeled in prayer for the Baron team who lost two of their players in a tragic traffic accident two weeks ago.

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