The National Anthem has come to the forefront of the news recently. Some professional athletes have taken a knee during the storied song to protest racial inequality in the U.S. The actions of these players have influenced members of the Seattle Academy girls’ soccer team.
Margaret Sneeringer ‘17 gave this advice to her team after a weekday practice at Delridge: “Get context for the situation, talk to people, and have an informed and personal view.” As a senior captain on the team, Sneeringer confronted the issue head on and made it clear she supported her teammates. The dialogue that she and other senior captains had brought tears, yells, and hugs, showing that opposing views can lead to a productive dialogue and demonstration.
Rob Phillips, head coach of the Seattle Academy girls’ soccer team, further echoed his player’s philosophy, stating, “I think of [the issue] more like a sphere, rather than two arrows coming at each other. You can have many different points of view on the subject.” Phillips was proud of the girls’ discussion, their thoughtfulness, and then their stand at Fall Sports Mania. He had a lot to be happy about, and not to mention a 4-0 win over class 3A Holy Names.
There was lots of anticipation for what would happen during the National Anthem at Starfire Field during Fall Sports Mania. After each player was introduced, three of the girls of the Seattle Academy girls’ soccer team and two from The Onions addressed the fans at Starfire. “Before the National Anthem we would like to address racial inequality in the United States with direct action,” said Nia Kajumulo ‘17. “We as a community will support each other's different opinions,” said Max Boone. Once The Onions began the performance, all but two of the girls knelt, some in the audience sat, one middle schooler raised a fist, and many stood with a hand over their hearts. There were many different ways of demonstration but respect for each one.
While people may have differences of opinion, there is a consensus in the Seattle Academy community that one must be respectful and educated especially on such a delicate issue. As Lauri Conner said in her address to the students: “Open inquiry, dialogue, and engagement help shape this community.”