“I thought moving to a community like Brunswick will be safe to keep away from the gun violence and then you have to come out here and deal with the racial thing," Rodney Axson Jr’s father said.
Rodney Axson, a high school student, and NFL player is known to be the first person to protest the anthem in high school. The Ohio Brunswick High School student, on September 2nd, decided to protest against racial injustice, starting with his own experience. He knelt down when the anthem was being sung rather than standing.
Axson joins the likes of Eric Reid, Jeremy Lane, and Colin Kaepernick, who also protested the same way. But what makes Axon’s own different is that it wasn’t planned.
“I didn’t show up to the game thinking that I would kneel for the national anthem,” the 16-year-old Black boy told the Daily News. He said he was in the locker room when he overheard his teammates using the N-word for some members of the opposing team.
Axson said he felt offended because he is an African-American. This is what led to his protest that day.
Expectedly, he was heavily descended upon by some of his teammates for standing up against racism. He was verbally abused and called the N-Word. Some people sent him abusive text messages, whereas others took to social media to threaten him. A Snapchat post had the inscription, “F–k Rodney, Lets Lynch Ni–ers.”
“I thought moving to a community like Brunswick will be safe to keep away from the gun violence and then you have to come out here and deal with the racial thing,” Axson’s dad told the Cleveland 19 news.
Also the district superintendent, Michael Mayell has said that investigations are ongoing to ascertain the facts of the matter.
It’s alarming how the canker of racism has eaten deep into the American society. It has now created so much intolerance to the point that, white kids can’t stand it when their Black colleagues voice out their pain due to racial abuses. Racism exists and the better America positions itself to deal with it, the better it will be.