Missouri Lawmaker Sits for Pledge of Allegiance, Cites Kaepernick Protest

September 16, 2016 Updated: September 16, 2016
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.—A Missouri state senator has refused to stand while her colleagues recited the Pledge of Allegiance in the state Capitol.

Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, a St. Louis Democrat, says her silent protest Wednesday on the Senate floor was intended to show solidarity with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick has kneeled for the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial oppression. Nasheed, who is black, says she wants to call attention to those issues and isn’t “anti-America.” Nasheed’s protest was met with silence in the chamber.

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a former GOP candidate for governor who presided over the Senate Wednesday, released a statement calling Nasheed’s protest an “occasion for great sorrow.” He said he worried about “the example she is setting, particularly for our young people.”

“I love America, but I want to support a brother who is shining a light on injustice,” she the Post-Dispatch Tuesday, referring to Kaepernick.

She noted that the national anthem and Pledge of Allegiance aren’t the same. She said, “It represents the same when it comes to black people in America.”

Kinder said that the Pledge “is an occasion for all Americans to stand together in national unity. There is no question of the senator’s right to remain seated during the Pledge, but it’s a question of the propriety of her action.”

Epoch Times contributed to this report.