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MN ‘Teacher of the Year’ Took A Knee During Anthem At NCAA Game Trump Attended

Minnesota ‘State Teacher of the Year’ Kelly Holstine was honored on the field at the NCAA championship game on Monday – a football game that President Trump and Melania also attended.

In protest, Holstine kneeled during the national anthem on the field instead of respecting the flag by standing with hand over heart as everyone did around her. 

See for yourself on Twitter:

Here's what Holstine said on Twitter after pulling a Kaepernick during the football game:

Kelly Holstine was given the 'Teacher of the Year' award back in April, but she skipped out on the White House cermony due to Trump being president.

ABC News has more details on why she kneeled during the game:

When Kelly Holstine first heard that teachers who were to be honored at the NCAA football championship game had the option to not put their hand over their heart during the national anthem, she wondered, "Is that enough?"

She decided that, for her, it wasn't. The teacher chose to kneel.

Before Monday night's game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans between Clemson and Louisiana State University, 54 teachers were brought onto the field for a ceremony to honor the 2019 Teachers of the Year. The teachers remained on the field while the national anthem played.

Also on the field as the national anthem played was President Donald Trump, who has been vocal about his distaste for people who kneel in protest during the anthem.

Holstine, who was the Teacher of the Year for Minnesota, said the president's presence and "his choice to consistently discriminate against marginalized and oppressed humans definitely factored into my decision to kneel."

She has long advocated that educators need to be more than just allies and stand up for those who are oppressed or marginalized.

"It just felt like it was an opportunity to be an advocate," Holstine told ABC News on Friday. "If I had chosen not to take it, it wouldn't have felt authentic to what I believe in my heart is the right thing to do."

Since 2016, kneeling in protest has become somewhat synonymous with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee to protest police brutality against black Americans.

"I really respect the work he's done and the fact that he just paved the way for this movement," Holstine said.

The New York Post also said:

A former top teacher in Minnesota took a knee during the national anthem at Monday’s college football championship — which President Trump attended — to stand up for “marginalized and oppressed people,” she said.

Kelly Holstine, the state’s “Teacher of the Year” in 2018, was a among a group of educators honored before the game at the Superdome in New Orleans.

She later tweeted a photograph of herself kneeling while referencing former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr.

Honored as State Teachers of the Year at NCAA Champ FB Game. Given platform to stand up for marginalized and oppressed people. Like many before, I respectfully kneeled during Nat’l Anthem because, “No one is free until we are all free” (MLK). #imwithkap #blacklivesmatter #LGBTQ

— Kelly D. Holstine (she/her) (@kellydholstine) January 14, 2020

“Like many before, I respectfully kneeled during Nat’l Anthem because, ‘No one is free until we are all free,’” wrote Holstine, who resigned last summer as an English teacher at an alternative high school in Shakopee.

The tweet also included photographs of Trump alongside First Lady Melania.

Holstine’s decision to protest follows her call to boycott a White House ceremony in April honoring top educators from around the country. An award-winning teacher from Kentucky also skipped the visit.

“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.”


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