5 New Mexico players kneel for national anthem played after first half

New Mexico head coach Bob Davie said he was surprised that the anthem was played. (AP Photo/Otto Kitsinger)

Five New Mexico players knelt for the national anthem as it was played after the first half of the team’s game against Air Force.

Lobos Stanley Barnwell Jr., Kimmie Carson, Garrett Hughes, Elijah Lilly and Michael Sewell Jr. took a knee. Below are pictures of Barnwell and Sewell taking a knee. Next, we’ll explain why the anthem was played after the first half and why the players were on the field.


College football teams are typically not on the field for the pregame playing of the national anthem. But Saturday’s game saw the pregame ceremonies wiped out because of lightning and the game was delayed for approximately an hour because of lightning after the first quarter.

The New Mexico band then played the national anthem after the conclusion of the second quarter — halftime was shortened because of the lightning delay — and the five players took a knee. New Mexico coach Bob Davie was surprised that the situation took place.

From the AP:

“We’ve never been out there for the national anthem, and the agreement was that there wasn’t going to be a national anthem played,” Davie said of Air Force coach Troy Calhoun and the head official.

“I didn’t even know that it was going to be played when it was played. I’m not sure our players knew. So again, I’d like to have the opportunity to visit with our players, talk about what our stance would be, unify it as a football team. I kind of got shocked by that.”

Calhoun, like any reasonable person, recognized that the players had the right to take a knee. Remember, the practice of kneeling during the national anthem began as a protest against racial injustice and not against the anthem itself or the United States military. That false narrative has been pushed by President Donald Trump in recent weeks and has caused many Americans to conflate the reasons for the protests.

“That’s their right,” he said. “They live in a country where they’re allowed to do that. We’ve got service members all over the world currently and who have served so if somebody chooses not to stand, they’re allowed to. There’s no law and there should be no law and it should be your choice.”

Northwestern players entered the field before Saturday’s game at Wisconsin with their arms locked together. Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said he commended NFL players peacefully protesting in the name of equality.

– – – – – – –

Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

More from Yahoo Sports:
Protests continue during national anthem in Week 4
O.J. Simpson released from Nevada prison
Following protests, NFL owners searching for control
Dolphins continue to struggle in shutout vs. New Orleans