Last year, most of the Kennesaw State University cheerleaders who chose to follow in the NFL’s example and kneeling in protest of the National Anthem — and now, many of them have realized they didn’t make the 2018 cheerleading squad.
According to the CBS46, Women of the “Kennesaw Five” stated that they have been subjects of political revenge.
They drew national attention for taking a knee during the National Anthem of college games. Now, they’re grabbed headlines again after only one of them made the squad this year.
For the first time, Tamia Dean hasn’t cheered since she’s been at the school. She considers that it’s not a coincidence or a matter of skill, but that it’s more likely a matter of retaliation.
“Made it twice before. Now, I didn’t make it,” said Dean.
Stunned and frustrated, she was left with one question.
Such as the majority of athletes in the NFL, they claim they did it to protest police brutality, racial inequality, and social injustice. KSU then prohibited the girls to play at the field until the National Anthem was over. School officials later gave them permission after they got reproached by the University System of Georgia.
This year, four out of the five were cut during tryouts.
We reached out to Kennesaw State University, asking why the girls didn’t make the team. A spokesperson released a statement saying there was “a substantial increase in applicants for this year’s squad — from 61 applicants in 2017, to 95 in 2018 — creating more competition for the 52 available spots on the roster.”
“It was competitive, definitely, but I don’t think that we were at the bottom of the competition level at all,” says Dean.
When Dean was asked whether she regrets taking a knee, she said, “No. I think when you want to stand up for things you believe, sometimes you lose stuff, and this just happens to be something that I lost.”
Dean wants to forget all of this and move on. The question now is whether the one member of the “Kennesaw Five” who did make the team will take a knee this year.