Miguel Lopez plays soccer for World of Inquiry, a predominantly black team, and says they came to a team decision to take a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality, what he didn’t expect was the amount of threats and name calling they’ve received.
“I’ve seen some comments about our team a lot of racial slurs saying go back where you came from but we’re only trying to bring to light the issue of police brutality and discrimination,” said Lopez.
Lopez says even adults have been targeting the boys on social media, calling them the “n-word” and other racial epithets.
“You got to take the good with the bad and there’s nothing anyone can say that will stop us from believing,” said Lopez.
While some have called kneeling during the anthem disrespectful, Lopez says he and his teammates don’t see it that way.
“We’re using our rights in a peaceful way we’re not hurting anyone or saying or doing anything disrespectful and veterans fought for our country so we have rights not so we just follow what anyone says,” said Lopez.
His father, Michael, a public defender and soccer coach for his son’s team says he’s proud of the boys for taking a stand by taking a knee. He was accused of having put the boys up to it, but he says, their own prior experience with discrimination was enough incentive.
“They’ve experienced a lot of racial hatred they see what’s happening with their own experiences and friends and the way they were treated by police and they see what’s happening to black people across the country.”
Lopez says the team has been lucky to have the support of parents as well as the support of the school administration, saying “the school has been supportive they know what we’re fighting for and they back us 100 percent.”