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Volleyball players join national protest

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O say can you see by the dawns early light. What so proudly we hail at the twilight’s last gleaming?

Students kneeled as the American flag rose and the sound of the anthem surrounded them.

In a peaceful protest against racism and police brutality, three students in the girl’s varsity volleyball took a knee their first CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) game on Oct. 31.

Amidst the victory of going to CIF for the first time since 2015, three junior girls, Nyaduoth Gatkuoth, Abbey Garcia, and Selina Logan-Lopez, decided to take a knee before the game during the national anthem.

“I realized how much injustice black people and other people of color endure, and I, a young black girl, see the injustice and relate to it,” Gatkuoth explained as to why she kneeled.

“I don’t directly experience what blacks go through with police brutality, but through this I can at least peacefully advocate and protest against these actions,” Garcia said .

“We see the racism,” Logan-Lopez claimed.

People had approached the girls and said that they are disrespecting the veterans, the flag, and America.

“I kneeled because I wanted to make a point – not to say I don’t like America or America sucks,” Gatkuoth explained.

These girls were unafraid of the consequences. They were only concerned about using their first amendment rights to show their beliefs. If consequences were laid upon them, some of them said they would be willing to quit the team.

“My coaches are meant to support me and make me a better player and person,” Gatkuoth said.

“People are being oppressed, and it needs to be fixed,” Logan-Lopez expressed. “There is a lot of injustice and I won’t stand for it.”

Undaunted of the responses or reactions of the coaches or the audience, they planned to repeat this action at the Chula Vista game during the second round of CIF. However, because the national anthem was not played, the girls did not kneel.

“If you don’t see the problems that America is going through right now, then I feel like you’re part of the problem.” Garcia said. “If I have to explain to you that people are getting killed for no reason or people aren’t given rights because of their skin color or where they come from, then you’re definitely part of the problem. The least I can do is advocate and educate or try my best to do my part.”

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