Millikin University Football Player Connor Brewer Stands Alone For The National Anthem [VIDEO]

Millikin University Football Player Connor Brewer Stands Alone For The National Anthem [VIDEO]

In every person’s life, there is a moment when we are faced with a choice. Do we go along with the crowd, or do we stand up for our own beliefs? Usually, history remembers those who stood against the crowd quite favorably.

Here is the story of football player Connor Brewer. His teammates at Millikin University (located in Decatur, Illinois) started following in Colin Kaepernick’s footsteps back in September by taking a knee during the anthem. Following a community outcry, the team announced that they would just sit out the National Anthem in the locker room.

The team’s statement claimed that this was a “united” decision by the whole team, and was backed up by the president of the university, Patrick White, who was so proud of his social justice warriors.

I believe strongly that true education does not make things simple, but in fact, helps us all see and work through the complexity of human experience and communication. When the issues involve race and justice and differing contentions of what patriotism mean, all of us can stand more education — to do more thinking, reading, and talking. We all need to listen to voices and opinions different from our own and listen with our hearts and minds awake to difference. This is not easy work, but it is a vital task for all of us who are Millikin at this time as we seek to become our best imagination of who we are as Millikin.

So just imagine how much moral courage and fortitude it took for Connor Brewer to walk out of the locker room and onto the football field, alone, and then stand on the sidelines by himself for the National Anthem.

Connor Brewer alone on the sidelines, standing (photo: Jeff Hill)
Connor Brewer alone on the sidelines, standing (photo: Jeff Hill)
Todd Starnes talked to Connor’s mother, Kellie Brewer.

“I’m still teary-eyed just watching that video of him standing on that field for the anthem – all alone,” Kellie Brewer told me.

Connor declined to be interviewed – out of respect for his coaches and his team.

“Connor just wants to exercise his right and stand on the field,” Mrs. Brewer told me. “He by no means wants to cause controversy or problems. He loves playing football for Millikin and hopes he can continue without any grief.”

Local media has since amended their stories to note that Connor Brewer stood alone, and are attempting to get comments from him. He’s already delivered his statement, and he didn’t have to use words. I’m not sure what other comment needs to be made.

If we truly have freedom of expression, then Connor Brewer should have the freedom to stand up for the National Anthem without any blowback from his teammates, his coaches, or his university. To punish him or slight him for not going along with the crowd would tell us everything we need to know about the values of Millikin University.

And his mother has every right to be proud of him.

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