On Tuesday, Brown, 22, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution why she knelt. She is an industrial and systems major at Georgia Tech and is also pursuing a dual dance major at Emory University. Brown said she took a knee after Terence Crutcher was fatally shot by an Oklahoma police officer during a traffic stop last year. The officer who killed Crutcher was later acquitted of manslaughter. Crutcher's death drove home the reason for Kaepernick's protest, she said.
“I kneeled in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick as a statement about the unjust killings of people of color in our country,” Brown said. “I did not kneel to disrespect the flag; instead, I sought to question the morals of the nation it represents.”
She had hip surgery in May and hasn’t been cleared by her physical therapist to perform again, though the Atlanta native hopes to do so with Georgia Tech’s dance team next fall. In the meantime, she has co-founded a dance company, whose first performance in November will address officer-involved shootings.
“When I protested, I joined countless other athletes and artists who have used their platforms to call America to become its best self,” Brown said. “Although I am no longer on the dance team, since my initial protest, I’ve continued to use art as a medium to raise awareness about the injustices my community faces.”
On Friday, President Trump called on NFL owners to "fire" players who protest during the national anthem. On Sunday, the league responded with each team showing symbolic unity.