Justice

The Surprising Woman Who Joined the National Anthem Protests on an NBA Court

October 12th 2016

By:
Danielle DeCourcey

On Monday, the national anthem protests against police brutality reached a new level. In solidarity with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, professional, college, and high school athletes have been protesting during the national anthem to stand against racial inequality and police shootings.

However, when the Sacramento Kings played an exhibition game against Israel's Maccabi Haifa, the person actually singing the national anthem took a knee.

Leah Tysse took a knee as she sung the last line of the national anthem, according to NPR. She dropped down on the word "free."

The game was on the Sacramento Kings' breast cancer awareness night, and Tysse is a breast cancer survivor.

Tysse explained her reasons for joining the protest in Facebook post.

"I love and honor my country as deeply as anyone, yet it is my responsibility as an American to speak up against injustice as it affects my fellow Americans," she wrote. She said that taking a knee was "the most patriotic thing" she could do to protest the treatment of black Americans by law enforcement.

Tysse went on to explain her own white privilege, and she called out institutional racism in the U.S.

"The sad reality is, as a white American I am bestowed a certain privilege in this nation that is not enjoyed by all people," Tysse wrote. "Black families are having much different conversations with their children about how to interact with the police than white families. Let's be honest."

She ended her post with the hashtag #pleasevote.

Tysse received strong reactions on Facebook on both sides of the issue.

Comments about national anthem protest.

The Sacramento Kings previously organized their own protest during the national anthem by locking arms at the same time as the Los Angeles Lakers at a preseason game, according to ESPN.

Players from various NFL teams, NBA teams, and U.S. Women's soccer player Megan Rapinoe have all joined Kaepernick in protesting the national anthem.

You can read Leah Tysse's full post about her protest on her Facebook page.

RELATED: NFL Players Are Protesting in Solidarity With Colin Kaepernick