SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - Niamey Harris, varsity football quarterback for Mission High School in San Francisco, is a leader on the field and on the sidelines.
Before Friday’s game at San Mateo High School on Sept. 16, Harris led the team as they huddled together and knelt is silent protest of racial injustice of African Americans and people of color. Players also raised their fists in solidarity.
The 17-year-old first made headlines along with his teammates for their actions at a football game on Sept. 10. Harris said he was talking about Colin Kaepernick and racial injustice to a few teammates on a bus ride to that football game. Once at the game, Harris took a knee during the national anthem. Every player on the team joined him, regardless of the color of their skin.
“I’m just standing up for what is right and what I believe in,” he said.
Head coach Greg Hill was impressed by what he saw.
“I immediately thought, what am I going to do and I said I’m going to stand for my team proudly, I’m going to stand as their coach,” Hill said.
The players support Kaepernick who has made headlines for his silent protest during the national anthem at NFL games of police brutality. Despite the controversial actions, the team has received nothing but positive support from staff and students at Mission High School.
“We don’t really care about the reaction,” Cheko Wells, a football player, said. “We are sticking up for something we believe in. I know we have a lot of people on our side. That’s all we need.”
“The overall message of Kaepernick and the team is freedom, justice and equality for all,” Hill added.
The team plans to kneel at the rest of their games throughout the season.