Benbrook student facing backlash after kneeling during national anthem

Brandon Todd reports.

A Benbrook volleyball player is facing backlash after she decided to kneel during the national anthem at her last game.

Aside from being booed at the game, a parent also posted it on social media. And since then, the teen has been dealing with some hateful messages.

Aliah Bell says when she took a knee during the national anthem before her volleyball game last week in Springtown, it was to show solidarity to those killed in police shooting incidents. Now, she’s facing backlash in ways she didn't expect.

"My coach told me that the people at Springtown booed me, but I didn't hear them boo me. But that's what she said that did,” the 15-year-old explained.

A parent posted the picture with the caption, "Benbrook's number 10 disrespectful actions at our game last night during the National Anthem." It didn’t sit well with Aliah's mother.

"I was angry,” Sherlanda Swayzer explained. “When you attack her, you attack me. And I think that was very tacky on that parent’s part."

The practice of kneeling for the national anthem created a stir last month in Desoto when the entire volleyball team took a knee before their September 20 game.

So far, Aliah says her school and coach have been behind her.

"[My coach] basically supported what I did,” she said. “But it's just gonna be that a lot of people are not gonna agree with what I'm doing, so I just have to learn how to deal with it"

Springtown ISD's Superintendent responded to the Facebook with a statement saying in part:

"It might also be appropriate for me to visit with any adults who, in hindsight, might choose to filter their constitutionally protected rights to voice disagreement with the equally protected right to kneel during the national anthem."

And Aliah wants to be clear that she’s not anti-police.

“My mom wanted to be a cop, and I wanted to be a cop. And I actually wanted to go into the military too after college,” she said. “So I'm not anti anything. I'm just standing for what I believe in."

 


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