A high school girls’ volleyball team heavily criticized for kneeling during the national anthem got an unlikely ally in Al Woolum, a white grandfather and Navy veteran.
Woolum heard about the criticism the girls’ volleyball team at DeSoto High School was getting after they decided to join a growing number of people across the country, most notably San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, protesting police violence by kneeling during the anthem.
“The decision they made to kneel at their last game, they caught a lot of flak for that,”said Woolum.
Believing the criticism was unfair, Woolum looked up when the next game was being held. He then showed up to the game wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt and joined the girls in protest.
Woolum said he wanted the volleyball team to know they had his support.
“I came to support them to let them know somebody in the white community cares,” he said.
Pictures of Woolum kneeling in the stands during the national anthem, as everyone around him stood, went viral on social media. Journalist Shaun King shared Woolum’s story with his Twitter followers. Within hours, the story was retweeted nearly seven thousand times, with some people even urging Woolum to run for political office.