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Unlike pros, high school football players protesting national anthem are getting suspended

Doherty High School football player Michael Oppong kneels during the national anthem before the team's high school football game against Leominster in Worcester, Mass., Sept 9, 2016.

Doherty High School football player Michael Oppong kneels during the national anthem before the team's high school football game against Leominster in Worcester, Mass., Sept 9, 2016.  (AP)

Colin Kaepernick’s very public protests against the national anthem have inspired other NFL football players to take similar stands against what they consider to be a “racist” and “oppressive” song, one emblematic of social injustice.

But while Kaepernick and his colleagues have been lauded by some members of the press, and defended by others—even in some cases financially rewarded for their principled stands—students who choose to replicate Kaepernick’s protests on high-school campuses are facing harsh punishments.

High-school football players in New Jersey, Alabama and Massachusetts, replicating Kaepernick’s stand, are facing suspension from school, harassment from their peers and even, they claim, threats against their physical well-being.

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