Young football players kneel during National Anthem before game

CAHOKIA, Illinois (WABC) -- An Illinois football team's 8-year-old players knelt during the National Anthem before a game on Sunday to protest racial injustices, Belleville News-Democrat reports.

The Junior Comanches' coach Orlando "Doc" Gooden tells the local paper that many of the boys asked him about the protests in St. Louis related to the verdict in the trial of former police officer Jason Stockley. Stockley, who is white, was acquitted in the 2011 death of a black man who was fatally shot following a high-speed chase.

Gooden said after a discussion, the teammates, with their parents' approval, decided to organize the protest gesture.

Many have been inspired to emulated former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick after his pregame protest kneel sparked national debate.
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