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Referee Kneels During National Anthem In Solidarity With Player Protests

The North Carolina official has yet to be named.

Following the lead of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, a high school football official in North Carolina took a knee during the national anthem at a Friday night game.

The official, who was one of five overseeing a game between Southwest High School and Croatan High School, has yet to be identified, and the North Carolina High School Athletic Association did not immediately return The Huffington Post’s request for comment.

Nearly two months after Kaepernick first refused to stand during a 49ers preseason game in protest of the mistreatment of people of color in the U.S., football players from youth school up to the NFL have joined him in silently protesting before games. Some have dealt with punishment and harsh words as a result. The Denver Broncos’ Brandon Marshall lost sponsors. A team of 11-and 12-year-olds saw their season cut short. 

The official appeared to face at least some similar ridicule on Friday night, as made clear from attendees of the game who spoke out on social media. 

One day after the game, North Carolina General Assembly Representative Phil Shepard sharply criticized the unnamed official. “I just think it’s not right to do that at a high school football game, especially for a official paid by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association,” he said, according to a local paper. 

Over 800 people have been killed by police in the U.S. this year, according to a tally by The Guardian. While a study recently made headlines for alleging that police did not actually use violence against black Americans at a disproportionate rate, the study was roundly described as flaw by other scholars. Much more evidence still points sharply in the other direction.

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