(WTNH)–The University of New Haven is playing at Pace on Saturday, and the Chargers want to make a statement on the field. UNH scored 53 points in last week’s win over Saint Anselm.
In response to recent events though, they plan on making a statement off the field as well.
Six UNH football players held up a fist during the national anthem in their home opener on Saturday.
“We didn’t want to take a knee, because we didn’t want anyone to think we were being disrespectful,”
Andre Anderson said the team did not want to offend the military in any way. He says the idea to protest came from Rishawn Harris.
“The first game, I actually did it myself. The LIU-Post game, I took a knee at first,” Harris said.
Ajee Patterson, the Chargers starting quarterback, is a criminal justice major. He says he did not know his players were going to protest. But he will join in next time. He says the images of police brutality has impacted him, too.
“We’re people first and athletes after,” Anderson said. “We do talk about it outside of football because it’s our culture and we’re tired of seeing things happen to people of our culture.”
Anderson says he still wants to become a police officer after college. Coach Crhis Pincince says he did not know his players were going to protest, but he stands behind them 100 percent.
“We let them have their own opinions,” Pincince said. “Everybody’s a little bit different, comes from different backgrounds and has different beliefs and I thinkthat they’re acting accordingly.”
Anderson says they will try to get white players to hold up a fist with them this Saturday at Pace. Harris says they will hold up a fist during the anthem every game this season.
“If I believe in something, I’m going to stand up and I’m going to show it,” he said.