The fall of 2016 saw 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick lead the way with multiple players choosing to sit or kneel during the playing of the National Anthem as a silent protest against the unfair treatment of black Americans.
In late September, Florida State volleyball player Mara Green decided to join the nationwide protest and took a knee during the National Anthem in a home game against Florida.
Green read a statement about her decision and what the act meant to her.
"I have had several family members that have served in the military and I have the highest respect of those who serve our country, I am unhappy with the racial tension, racial injustice and police brutality in our country. This is my way of silently and peacefully protesting my beliefs," Green noted.
FSA volleyball coach Chris Poole also released a statement about Mara's protest. "Mara (Green) made me aware of her intention to kneel for the national anthem. Florida State University is an institution of higher learning that recognizes a student’s right to freedom of expression. Similarly, I respect Mara’s right to freely express herself. "
Note that although many veterans vocally oppose these national anthem protests, others say freedom of speech is a fundamental American value.
For example, Vietnam vet David Dubois was supportive of Green and commented: "I think that this is America, we should have room to be able to express our opinions. I admire what she's doing."