California Coach Quits Job After His Players Kneel During Anthem (VIDEO)
Jacob Malae was a former high school football star who just wanted to return to his old stomping grounds and give back to the school that gave him so much.
Now the head coach at Bellarmine College Prep, everything was going well until he saw a few of his players kneel during the playing of the National Anthem just before a game last month.
That was enough for Malea to quit his job.
— Darren Sabedra (@DarrenSabedra) September 30, 2017
“The act of kneeling during the national anthem doesn’t create dialogue, it creates division,” Malae wrote in a letter obtained by the San Jose Mercury News. “People are talking about the what, not the why. And that is unfortunate and shameful. It is unfortunate because the seemingly well intended act of a few is causing undue harm to the whole.
“It is shameful because BCP not only knew (or should have known) this was going to happen, but didn’t do anything to stop it. As adults in this equation, it is our fundamental duty to act when we know, or eventually realize, that irreparable harm is being done.”
At the time, Bellarmine’s president, Chris Meyercord, said this about the silent protest:
“Their intent was really to draw attention to people they feel are marginalized, people of color, immigrants in all different kinds of communities that they feel are not getting enough support, enough attention.
They wanted to bring a great understanding to that. That was really what their intention was. They have been thinking about it for a while, working with the school, talking to coaches, talking to teammates. They tried to be really clear about what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. Their hearts are in the right place.”
On the night of their protest, the players issued a statement to the school community, explaining their decision to take a knee.
“As students of a Jesuit institution, we are taught to be men for and with others and to seek justice and truth,” the players wrote. “In light of our summit on understanding race in the 21st century, along with our personal experiences with discrimination both at Bellarmine and in our broader community, we feel compelled to raise awareness for the marginalized.
“By kneeling, we hope to express our dissatisfaction with our society’s failure to uphold the values of justice, equality, and peace, and start constructive dialogue in our community. In addition, we kneel to show our support for our country’s marginalized groups: minorities, women, immigrants, those who have experienced religious persecution, and members of the LGBTQ community.
“We would like to clarify that we unequivocally appreciate and value the sacrifices of law enforcement officers, yet we feel the need to express our displeasure with the continued failure of some members of law enforcement and our justice system to protect the marginalized.”
Malae added that he and his family would no longer attend Bellarmine varsity games as a result of the players’ decision to kneel.