File photo of football players of Miami Dolphins professional team kneeling during the playing of the US national anthem to protest police brutality against African Americans across the country.
Several members of a college marching band in the US state of North Carolina have taken a knee during the playing of the national anthem before a football match to protest persisting police brutality against African Americans.
About a dozen members of the East Carolina University (ECU) marching band refused to stand during the national anthem on Saturday prior to the school's football game against the University of Central Florida, the Associated Press reported.
Citing local news outlet WITN in the city of Greenville, the report added that while some band members played their instruments sitting, others did not play at all.
Meanwhile, when the band took to the field for a marching performance during the halftime, some of the spectators began to boo.
Members of the East Carolina Marching Pirates kneel during the national anthem on Saturday. (Photo by Pirate Radio)
ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton later issued a statement saying that while the school recognizes the displeasure felt by its football fans, it urges them to respect each other's views.
The protest movement against the US national anthem began in August when Colin Kaepernick, the star player for the San Francisco 49ers, refused to stand during the anthem before preseason games, citing continued racial injustice and police brutality against African Americans and other minorities across the United States.
A couple of female members of the US Navy also engaged in similar protest last month, prompting the military force to threaten its troops with punishment if they join the protest campaign.
In a separate incident this week, six members of a Nebraska high-school cheerleaders and marching band team knelt silently during the national anthem, as did three Nebraska University’s football players before them.