'Teacher of the Year' kneels during national anthem at college football game

'Teacher of the Year' kneels during national anthem at college football game

A former 'Teacher of the Year' knelt during the national anthem at a college football game attended by President Trump.

Kelly Holstine was given the prestigious award in 2018. And on Monday, at the college football championship in New Orleans, she wanted to use the anthem as an opportunity to stand up for "marginalized and oppressed people."

American Gold Medalist Imboden also knelt to protest during the national anthem:

The teacher subsequently tweeted a picture of her protest alongside references to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr.

She wrote: "Honored as State Teachers of the Year at NCAA Champ FB Game. Given platform to stand up for marginalized and oppressed people. Like many before, I respectfully kneeled during Nat'l Anthem because, 'No one is free until we are all free' (MLK)."

This, however, was not Holstine's first protest. She also refused to attend a ceremony at the White House which honored educators.

In an interview with The Hill, Holstine said: "I just decided that it felt like the right thing to do, to have a very respectful protest. It's really Martin Luther King Jr. says it best: 'Nobody's free until we're all free.'"

She knew that Trump would be in attendance before deciding to kneel during the anthem. Holstine told The Hill that the educators in attendance had been told to place their hands on their heart, and either chose to do so or not.

After receiving this information, she spoke to her wife and decided to kneel instead, believing that failing to place her hand on her heart wouldn't be a strong enough protest.

"Not everybody is given the opportunity to have a voice, and I can take a small moment, a respectful moment of protest, and exercise my First Amendment rights, and stand up for my students and for vulnerable adults and for people who are not treated in the way that they should be," Holstine said. "It feels like my responsibility to do that."

When Holestine's teaching colleagues realized what she was doing, she said that they were "very supportive".

As per the New York Post, Trump has previously criticized the likes of NFL players like Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem.