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High School Lifts Suspension for Football Player Who Protested Anthem

Michael Oppong is a high school football player reportedly suspended for kneeling during the national anthem (Twitter)

Michael Oppong is a high school football player reportedly suspended for kneeling during the national anthem (Twitter)

A Worcester, Massachusetts high school student revealed the school removed his alleged suspension for a national anthem protest over the weekend. Michael Oppong, a junior at Doherty Memorial High School, shared the news on Twitter Monday morning.

The high school junior also thanked Twitter users who supported him throughout the ordeal.

In a statement to MassLive, Superintendent Maureen Binienda said Oppong did not violate any of Doherty Memorial’s rules.

“The Doherty student did not violate any school rule when he peacefully and silently protested during the National Anthem,” the statement read. “He exercised his Constitutional Rights without disturbing the school assembly.”

Yesterday, Oppong tweeted school officials decided to suspend him for one game because he chose to kneel beside his standing teammates as the “Star Spangled Banner” played.

His message resulted in supportive messages from many online.

Natasha Mullins backed the teen.

And international basketball player Kenny Gabriel urged the football player to “stand up for what you believe in.”

But Oppong also faced racist trolls in the process.

Oppong later confirmed the suspension news to a reporter for the Telegram & Gazette.

He told the reporter why he planned to continue the protest throughout the season.

“I’m standing up for the injustice that happens to Black people every day, not just cops killing Black people,” Oppong said. “We are disrespected and mistreated everywhere because of our skin color and I’m sick of it.”

According to Black Sports Online, the suspension ruling went past football coach Sean Mulcahy and school principals ultimately made the decision.

But Binienda told the newspaper school officials never intended to remove Oppong from a game for expressing his constitutional right.

“That’s against the law,” she said. “There’s absolutely no discipline that’s happening with that.”

However, Oppong stood by his story and believed the school may be engaging in a cover-up.

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