Ima pull a Colin Kaepernick and sit during the national anthem on Friday— Michael Oppong🗯 (@ShowtimeMO2) September 6, 2016
My coaches and principals have decided to suspend me for 1 game.— Michael Oppong🗯 (@ShowtimeMO2) September 11, 2016
On Monday morning, though, he announced the suspension had been “terminated” and thanked everyone for their “love and support.” In another tweet, he wrote that “by God’s grace, justice was served.”
I just want to thank all of you guys for the support you all gave me throughout this whole situation and by God's grace Justice was served!— Michael Oppong🗯 (@ShowtimeMO2) September 12, 2016
In text messages to Worcester reporter Carl Setterlund, he explained his decision to protest before the game against Leominster.
“I’m standing up for the injustice that happens to black people every day, not just cops killing black people,” Oppong wrote. “We are disrespected and mistreated everywhere we go on a daily basis because of our skin color and I’m sick of it.”
In a statement released Monday morning, Worcester administrators explained their decision to rescind the punishment, pointing out that Oppong had violated no school rules with his protest.
“Recently, athletes have displayed silent protest in support of the dialogue on race and equality that continues to evolve in every community across the nation. This weekend, a football player from Doherty Memorial High School knelt down during the National Anthem, joining the many athletes who have silently displayed their opinion.
“The Doherty student did not violate any school rule when he peacefully and silently protested during the National Anthem. He exercised his Constitutional Rights without disturbing the school assembly and he is not being disciplined in any way by his actions. Worcester Public Schools is a rich, diverse community that thrives to maintain open dialogue about the challenges that our community and our country face.”
Oppong had plenty of support in the Worcester community and online.
Oppong was criticized, too, especially since his protest began on the weekend of the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. His protest, he said, was not about them or military members fighting in the ensuing wars and it’s something he’s promised to continue.
I have 100% respect for the veterans and the people who lost their lives on 9/11, this whole thing isn't about them— Michael Oppong🗯 (@ShowtimeMO2) September 11, 2016
If the first weekend of September is any guide, it appears that protests are spreading across the country, with a number of people sharing images with Shaun King of the New York Daily News.