Minnesota’s “Teacher of the Year” kneeled during the national anthem at Monday (Jan. 13) night’s college football championship game.
The Hill reports that Kelly Holstine took a knee while being recognized on the Mercedes-Benz Superdome field along with other honored teachers.
“I just decided that it felt like the right thing to do, to have a very respectful protest,” Holstine told The Hill. “It’s really Martin Luther King Jr. says it best: ‘Nobody's free until we're all free.’”
Standing with them on the field was Donald Trump, The Hill reports.
“Honored as State Teachers of the Year at NCAA Champ FB Game. Given platform to stand up for marginalized and oppressed people,” she tweeted. “Like many before, I respectfully kneeled during Nat’l Anthem because, ‘No one is free until we are all free’ (MLK). #imwithkap #blacklivesmatter #LGBTQ”
According to The Hill, Holstine’s protest began earlier in the year when she did not attend the White House ceremony recognizing the “Teacher of the Year” honorees in April.
“I think that the current environment that is being created and has been created in his tenure definitely adds to my feelings of wanting to support individuals who are not being supported,” she told The Hill. “I really feel like our country is not serving the needs of all its inhabitants … so many humans right now that are not being given the respect and the rights that they deserve.”
Holstine told The Hill that her decision to kneel came after she found out Trump would be on the field and after consulting with other educators and her wife.
“Not everybody is given the opportunity to have a voice, and I can take a small moment, a respectful moment of protest, and exercise my First Amendment rights, and stand up for my students and for vulnerable adults and for people who are not treated in the way that they should be,” she told The Hill. “It feels like my responsibility to do that.”
BET reached out to Holstine for comment.
(Photo: Getty Images)