Tommia Dean, a former cheerleader at Kennesaw State University, is suing the school and elected officials for violating her right to protest by “taking a knee” at a football game last year.
The 20-year-old filed a complaint against former KSU President Sam Olens, Cobb County Sheriff Neil Warren, and retiring state Rep. Earl Ehrhart for emotional distress over violation of her First Amendment rights.
At a KSU football game on Sept. 30, 2017, Dean and four other cheerleaders chose to kneel during the national anthem. As the controversy grew, they became known as the “Kennesaw Five.”
“For me … after seeing the many killings and the many attacks against minorities by police… I didn't think that it was right for minorities to have to walk around and be terrified every single day,” Dean, who is now a junior at the school, explained. “It's a burden to have to walk around and be scared all the time.”