Lansing, Mich.- Michael Lynn III, Matthew Abdullah, Kabbash Richards and Roje Williams created controversy earlier this year when they took a knee during the national anthem at one of their Lansing Catholic football games. All four players received some kind of discipline from the school and were benched during the football game. The Lansing Catholic students did it to protest social injustice and it caught Colin Kaepernick’s attention. Last weekend, the boys skyped Kaepernick for 20 minutes and talked about their actions.
“He showed me to be courageous and to stand up for what I believe in,” Richards said.
Kaepernick came under scrutiny last year when he didn’t stand for the national anthem during an NFL game, a protest for what he says is police brutality against young African Americans. This caused a nation-wide protest, some saying it was blatant disrespect for the flag, but it also sparked a movement by others, including these four students.
Here are today’s headlines from the Spartan Newsroom:
East Lansing is changing. 7-Eleven closes a store and Giorgio’s prepares to close its Grand River Avenue eatery to prepare for a redevelopment project. Nassar hearing continue with victim impact statements. Southerners deal with rare snow and ice.
Matt St. Germain strives to bring some positivity into this world and others’ news feeds
St. Germain is a master’s student at Michigan State University. He makes it a priority to inspire and influence others. Spartan Newsroom: Please tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, interests and goals?
Being on social media is about more than “beating” faces and “fleeking” hairstyles for MSU students who are building their beauty businesses. It’s also a chance to connect directly with customers by helping them feel beautiful. “A few women have reached out to me and told me how they admire how I am slowly starting my business and that it is motivating for them,” said makeup artist Devinnia Moore, a journalism senior at Michigan State. “I use social media to promote my creativity. I post makeup videos that I make myself along with pictures of my clients,” Moore said.
Michigan State University senior Juwan Clarke created the Black MSU Snapchat story to bring that community together. Nearly 600 students are a part of the story. They are able to post, watch information about campus organization activities, find out about social activities and get advice.
At Michigan State men’s basketball media day in early October, head coach Tom Izzo recognized the public debate raging in the country. “There are problems in society,” Izzo said. “The issues involving race equality (are) important to me for a lot of reasons: One, my own household. Two, my own team here.”
That statement came two months after the violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, and with growing racial tensions across the country. At the time, the members of Izzo’s team did not know what they were going to do.
Athletes and the sports media have gotten criticism for not “sticking to sports,” instead letting social issues and discussion creep into the sports media. Al Martin, host of WKAR Radio’s Current Sports since April 2013, joined Spartan Newsroom reporter Zachary Swiecicki to talk about the issue. Very cool moment here as @MatthewAbdullah @RoJeSoFly and @MichaelLynnIII receive a Skype call from @Kaepernick7 for deciding to stand with Kaep and take a knee during the national anthem before football games at @lansingcatholic this season. Mad respect. pic.twitter.com/khp1z38TCx
— Al Martin (@AlMartinWKAR) December 3, 2017
Martin has used social media, like Twitter, as well as his hourlong radio show to give his opinion on everything in and around the world of sports.
Michigan State University coaches don’t just guide their student-athletes on the field. Many also are becoming coaches for students’ social media presence. Spartan Newsroom talked with coaches from the women’s field hockey, men’s soccer and men’s baseball teams about how they’re implementing social media policies with their players:
Skyler Meade spent three seasons as baseball team’s pitching coach until he was hired by the South Carolina Gamecocks in November. Georgia Holland joined the MSU field hockey team in June 2016 as an assistant coach. She played at Yale for four seasons and Wake Forest for one season.
The movement that we are now calling the #TakeAKnee protest has moved to the forefront of conversation in America and has garnered the attention of many. Some people, including President Donald Trump, are calling the movement disrespectful to the American flag and veterans who have fought for the country, while others say its meant to protest a long-standing battle against white supremacy in America. Former Michigan State University quarterback Bill Feraco, recalls his experiences during his journey to the Cotton Bowl of 1968, on the brink of the civil rights movement. Feraco remembers a somber time for his teammates after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King when it seemed that some of his teammates had had enough, and decided to do something about it.