Some Bay Area students take a knee in solidarity

- The 140 member Oakland Honor Band, made up of middle and high school students, took a knee during their pregame performance at Monday night's A's game at the Oakland Coliseum.

The students say it was their idea to hold this protest and what it meant depended on the individual.

"I'm hoping people will see this is not to disrespect America, that we're standing up, or in this case kneeling down for racism and xenophobia," said Ronald Hamlet, a 14-year-old from Oakland High.
 
"I hope they'll get a sense of community that I want everyone to have. We support everybody," says Daisy Amador, a 14-year-old from Oakland Tech High.
 
Students say taking a knee during the national anthem raises awareness for issues such as racism and human rights. For some, it's a protest against President Donald Trump.

"He bashed NFL players but not call out the Neo Nazi's for their violence," says Hamelt.

Students say they decided to protest after the A's Bruce Maxwell become the first Major League Baseball player to kneel and many members of the Oakland Raiders doing the same before their Sunday night game.

"It just makes me sick because I supported this team for so many years," Jim Vierra, a football fan who owns a security company in San Francisco.

The season ticket holder says after seeing Raider players kneel, he decided to sell his season tickets and auction off memorabilia autographed by quarterback Derek Carr. Vierra plans to donate the money to nonprofits that help veterans.
 
"When you pull that kind of stuff, it spits on our flag. I employ a huge amount of veterans. My son is an ex-marine as well. I told my wife enough is enough . I'm not going to do it anymore," says Vierra.
 
But one Oakland father sees it differently. He supports his daughter, a member of the Honor Band taking a knee.

He says he has relatives who are former and current members of the U.S. military.

"It's not about the flag. It's about human rights, people's rights being violated," says Mario who declined to give his last name.

One A's fan says he disagrees with the protest.
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"I'm old school. I believe we should have respect. I don't think it's disrespectful but at the same time, I don't think it's the right thing to do personally." says Louie Zandonella of Martinez.
 
About a half dozen students did not kneel while performing the national anthem. One of the band teachers say diversity of opinions is what this country represents.
 

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