By JERAMY STOVER, Sports Editor
A trend that has swept the nation the last few weeks has finally hit the two biggest universities in the state of Michigan.
Since San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started sitting during the national anthem before their games, other athletes have followed his actions in a variety of ways including kneeling for the anthem or raising fists in the air while it is played.
The latter happened during the Michigan-Penn State football game on Saturday when members of the Wolverines team, including Jourdan Lewis, Khalid Hill, Mike McCray, Devin Bush and Elysee Mbem-Bosse raised a fist in the air to support injustice in our country. A similar protest also happened during the Michigan State-Wisconsin game when Spartan players did a similar motion.
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh said he was not aware of the protest but supports his players actions.
“No I didn’t know (it was going to happen) I was told when I came back into the locker room and my thoughts are there is a freedom of expression and somebody can speak their mind,” Harbaugh said. “It’s not something that’s gonna keep them out of heaven and so I’m not really going to worry about it, when it’s something that doesn’t keep somebody out of heaven for speaking their mind, so I support them.”
Athletes across the country have been protesting against injustice against African Americans and other minorities the past few weeks. What started as one professional football player sitting for the national anthem has turned into athletes at all levels across the country protesting in their own ways.
Lewis said after the game that he felt passionate about the issue and wanted to use his platform to express his feelings.
“It was just something I felt strongly about it’s a nationally spread issue right now I just felt like (with) my platform I just like felt it would get a message out,” Lewis said. “It is injustice here in the country we see, we got to take notice in that, and that’s really what it is; it’s nothing disrespect towards our country or anything like that, but it is injustice.”
When Lewis was asked how do we solve the issue he touched on how we need to come together more and encourage each other. Lewis also said he doesn’t know if it will be a recurring thing.
Quarterback Wilton Speight also said he didn’t know of anything planned like Harbaugh. Lewis said the guys who decided to protest pretty much did it on their own.
“I said something before probably the first game of the season, I said something but those guys get the credit for it right now. I just followed their lead,” Lewis explained.
Harbaugh said he has put a lot of thought into the issue and players protesting. He is aware of what is going around in the country the past few weeks and believes the protests will not go away anytime in the near future.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about this over the last four, five, six weeks because I’m the football coach doesn’t mean I can dictate to people what they believe so I support our guys. This is something it’s not going away it’s going to keep happening,” Harbaugh said.