A former Sioux City West athlete was the target of a racist social media post last Friday night, after he took a knee for the national anthem.
Darius Moore, a senior at Clear Creek-Amana in eastern Iowa, decided to kneel prior to his team's football game. Moore, his team's leading receiver, played as a sophomore and junior at West High, where his mother, Marisa Cummings, resides.
A student at Clear Creek-Amana circled Moore's head in a photo that appeared on Snapchat that night. The message said, "kick this (expletive) (expletive) off the team like honestly who the (expletive) kneels for the national anthem."
Officials at Clear Creek-Amana issued this statement on Saturday: "The Clear Creek-Amana Community School District, as an education institution, supports the free exchange of ideas embodied by the First Amendment. The district will not interfere with a student's right of expression by peacefully kneeling or sitting during the tradition standing for the national anthem.
"Our schools pride themselves on providing a respectful learning environment for every student. It is district policy and practice that students will not be discriminated against in the education program, and that harassment or bullying of students will not be tolerated. Any conduct which violates these policies will be handled by school officials in accordance with law.
"It is our hope that students, parents, and the community alike will take the opportunity to learn from this situation."
Moore's father, Darryl Moore, played basketball at the University of Iowa.
Darius' father is African American and his mother is Native American.
“For these words to be used towards our son, a young man who is attempting to do what he feels is right and how America is supposed to be, shows how far we have regressed,” said a post on the combined Facebook page of Darryl Moore and his wife, Shawna. “All we can do is pray that people open their minds and understand that we don’t all have to agree to show basic respect to one another.”
Cummings told the Cedar Rapids Gazette that Darius' sister, Nia Moore, opted to kneel during the national anthem before a volleyball match she played for West High recently. She also received negative feedback -- and positive support -- via social media.