MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell called Donald Trump’s recent actions those of “a spoiled child.” However, Republicans do not seem to mind the role the president is modeling for America’s youngest members. Fortunately, a group of Belleville, Illinois eight-year-olds and younger children showed the country what was right. They were amazing.
Belleville is located only a few minutes southeast of downtown St. Louis. It was natural that the little football players on the Cahokia Quarterback team were talking about Jason Stockley’s release. At the time, he was the member of the St. Louis police department who shot and killed a black 24-year-old father of a one-year-old daughter, Anthony Smith, in 2011. Last week, that white officer was found not guilty, and protests filled the night air in St. Louis, Missouri.
Coach Orlando Gooden was on the football team at Mizzou (University of Missouri in Columbia), and when he noticed the kids’ conversation, he saw an opportunity for a “teaching moment,” Fox 2 in St. Louis reported:
‘One of the kids asked me if I saw (people) protesting and rioting in St. Louis. I said yes; I said, “Do you know why they are doing it?” I felt like it was a good teaching moment for me to circle the team and have a meeting.’
The coach asked his players why they thought people were rioting, and Fox 2 reported that one of them answered:
‘Because black people are getting killed, and nobody’s going to jail.’
Adapting his words for their young age, Coach Gooden explained why former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the country’s national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” According to Fox 2, the coach said:
‘One of the kids asked, “Can we do that?” I said, “As long as we know why we’re doing it, I don’t have a problem with any of it.”‘
According to ESPN staff writer Bill Barnwell, Kaepernick has paid heavily for his silent protest:
‘You can’t simultaneously make an argument saying that the league is suffering from a dearth of quarterbacks and also suggest that Colin Kaepernick doesn’t deserve a meaningful role in the NFL…For whatever flaws Kaepernick has as a quarterback, a look at history suggests that there hasn’t been a single quarterback in the post-merger modern NFL to play like Kaepernick did in 2016 without getting another shot at a job afterward.’
On the day of the big game at Little Devil’s Field in Belleville, the national anthem began to play. Then Coach Gooden’s team of mini-players immediately took a knee right where they were standing. The little guys happened to be facing away from the flag, but that was a mistake, according to Gooden.
The coach spoke about “what I teach my kids” Fox 2 reported:
‘What I teach my kids is love, integrity, honesty, fairness, respect, and boundaries.’
Every football player’s parents agreed with the team’s decision to follow in Kaepernick’s footsteps. Unfortunately, the coach’s wife posting on Facebook met with criticism.
Coach Gooden told Fox 2:
‘As long as I have support of my parents and team, I’m perfectly fine, and I’m covered under the First Amendment to peacefully protest and assemble.’
If only all coaches were as good as this man.
Check out this video from the coach’s wife’s Facebook page:
Featured Image via Coach Gooden’s wife’s Facebook page screen grab.