Singer Kneels While Performing National Anthem at Charlotte Independence Game

MATTHEWS, N.C. – Lots of reaction after a Charlotte man took a knee while performing the National Anthem. It happened at the Charlotte Independence game Saturday night.

“You know I’ve always protested the anthem since, you know, it all began, since Kaepernick,” says Preston Poole.

He says kneeling wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision.

“I believe that was my chance to, continue to protest, you know, the fight for black and brown people is always, you know, is going to be continuous,” Poole says.

He says he was inspired by similar protests by players in the NFL.

“I believe it’s imperative. Until black and brown people receive justice for, you know, the killings of black and brown people by police. For the, I wanna say injustice towards black and brown people,” he says.

Not everyone agreed with his decision.

Poole talked about the reaction from the stands at Matthews Sportsplex.

“They were quiet, you know because I was singing the National Anthem, but then I did have a few, I don’t want to call them hecklers but they were yelling, like, ‘Stand up! Stand up! Stand up!'”

Poole also caught the Independence by surprise.

The team released a statement that reads in part, “The Charlotte Independence believes our matches are a place for all to gather regardless of background and ideology. Those who counter this philosophy do not represent the club.”

Poole insists he’s not disrespecting the flag or the anthem.

“I still honored the country by singing the National Anthem, I think that was credible enough but the fact that we have these injustices going on between, you know, going towards black and brown people, it was only right that I kneel,” he says.