PORTLAND, Ore. -- Friday nights in the fall are set aside for high school football. This Friday night was no different at Lincoln High School. The Cardinals lined up against the Trojans of Wilson High School. The only difference was the hard-to-miss crowd on the east side of the football field.
“I’m here tonight to be an ally to my sisters of color at Lincoln,” said student Sebastian Chevalier.
Chevalier was one of about 60 students bringing attention to what they call racial injustice in the US.
“There are times I couldn’t hang out with certain people because of my skin color,” said Chevalier.
Before Friday's game, the students took a knee during the national anthem. The students then raised a fist at the conclusion of the anthem. For the students, it was a show of unity that brought some of them to tears.
“It just shows me that I’m not alone,” said student Sophia Wilson. “It makes me feel safe at my school and welcome.”
The very public protest was met with mixed reactions by those in the bleachers.
“I’m kneeling for equality and all the people our president has put down,” said one woman.
“I don’t think our national anthem should be a part of our political expression,” added another woman.
But on this Friday night, it was. Students believe the demonstration was a success.
“It became less of a white and black thing and more of… this is your community,” said Wilson.