Warren and Olens did not immediately respond to requests for comment by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
More than a year ago, NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began protesting police brutality against minorities by kneeling silently during the national anthem. Even in the wake of critics’ saying that his action disrespected the U.S., more athletes — on pro, college and high school teams — have been sitting, kneeling, locking arms or remaining in locker rooms during the anthem. President Donald Trump weighed in last month to say NFL players should stand for the national anthem or be fired for their defiance.
Davante Lewis, who said his sister is one of the cheerleaders who took a knee, said despite Twitter chatter, the cheerleaders were not harassed at their homes after the game, but they feel threatened after the sheriff’s public comments.
Lewis told the AJC a deputy appeared at one of the cheerleaders’ homes a few weeks ago, which the AJC has not confirmed, and because of that incident, they are all more fearful now that Warren has voiced his opinion.
“The county sheriff has been vocal about how the cheerleaders’ actions were disrespectful and their fear is exacerbated now,” Lewis said.
Tammy Demel, a spokeswoman for the university, said KSU “believes that it is important to honor the national anthem. It is equally as important to respect the rights of individuals as protected under the First Amendment.”
In other news:
APD Police Chief Erika Shields discusses her thoughts on the recent controversy over NFL players kneeling during the playing of the national anthem before games.