Michigan councillors take a knee during pledge of allegiance following NFL protests

City council members take a knee during pledge of allegiance following NFL protests

NFL players started the kneeling protest

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Four Ann Arbor city council members in Michigan 'took a knee' whilst the pledge of allegiance took place in a meeting as part of a protest first started by American football players.

The idea of taking a knee in the meeting was first raised by council member Sumi Kailasapathy, after several NFL players did so during the pre-game national anthem in protest against social injustice.

She said this issue is especially relevant to her as she first came to America as a refugee from Sri Lanka during wartime, CNN reported.

Kailasapathy claims "people tell me to go back to my country and I don't know how to tell them that this is my country, this is my home.

She added that she works hard to support her community and take care of it. "If I leave, where am I going to go?"

Whilst she said that the four have received both positive and negative comments about the act, city leaders have not criticised them for the move.

Kailasapathy said that she thinks taking the knee is not disrespectful, as all people should contribute to their country and people should not be judged for their differences.

The three others that agreed to take the knee with her were Chuck Warpehoski, Chip Smith and Jason Frenzel.

Warpehoski also wrote a blog post on the matter and said kneeling was an act of "attention, of concern and of respect" but added that he meant no offence and was not dishonouring anyone who has sacrificed themselves for America.

The 'take a knee' protest started last year with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who claimed the country is riddled with social and racial injustice.