Posted on July 31, 2019

O’Rourke Invites Black Men Who Knelt During Anthem to Debate

Jessica Campisi, The Hill, July 30, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke has invited a group of black men who knelt during the national anthem before their high school football games in Michigan to be his guests for Tuesday night’s primary debate in Detroit, his campaign said.

Four Lansing Catholic High School students, inspired by former NFL player and activist Colin Kaepernick, knelt during the national anthem in 2017 to protest police brutality and the over-policing of people of color, O’Rourke’s campaign wrote in a press release. The school disciplined the students, all starters on the school’s football team, giving them less playing time, it added.


O’Rourke will also host Rick Speck of the ACLU of Michigan, Mario Bueno — who co-founded a nonprofit aimed at helping incarcerated or formally incarcerated men improve their lives — and the mother of Sgt. Daniel R. Keegan, who died in 2016 after serving two tours in Afghanistan, the campaign said.