Athletes protesting the national anthem reached the Big Ten on Saturday. A handful of Michigan players joined the movement by raising their fists before their game against Penn State.
All-American cornerback Jourdan Lewis was among them. Here’s why he did it.
“There’s injustice in this country that we see,” Lewis told MLive.com’s Brendan Quinn. “We’ve got to take notice of it. It’s no disrespect toward the country or anything like that, but there is injustice.”
Lewis also said he had an opportunity to use his profile as a college football player to bring attention the issue.
“It was just something I felt strongly about,” Lewis told the Detroit Free-Press’ Mark Snyder. “It’s a nationally spread issue right now, and I felt with my platform it would get the message out.”
Michigan's Jourdan Lewis on the message sent by U-M players raising their fists during national anthem. pic.twitter.com/HvXjbkshmT
— Brendan F. Quinn (@BFQuinn) September 25, 2016
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the movement by kneeling during the national anthem in a preseason game in protest of police violence against African-Americans.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh had no problem with players protesting. Neither did Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio.
Two African-American men were killed by police this week — Keith Scott in Charlotte, N.C., and Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Okla.