Students protest in support for cheerleaders punished after knee - CBS46 News

Students protest in support for cheerleaders punished after kneeling during national anthem

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KENNESAW, GA (CBS46) -

While new Kennesaw State University President Sam Olens was formally sworn in, a group of protesters demonstrated. Olens has been criticized for barring five cheerleaders from the field in the games that followed them kneeling during the national anthem, making them wait in the tunnel until after the anthem.

This weekend is homecoming at the university, but instead of focusing on the football team, all eyes are on the cheerleaders. Students are standing with the five cheerleaders not being allowed on the field.

Released emails and text messages by local elected officials give the impression they pressured the university's president to take the cheerleaders off the field. Cheerleaders say they want to go beyond the protests and see action in response.

(MORE: Emails, texts between officials obtained following kneeling controversy at Kennesaw State University)

"We want to sit down and talk face-to-face, no more liaisons, no more statements. We want apologies to those young girls, we want them back on the field. We want their First Amendment rights to be accepted her at this university."

While some agree with the message, they don't agree with the movement.

"So, whenever you get on your knee, that is not encouraging unity, hands down," says one person.

The Board of Regents is now investigating how Olens handled the cheerleaders who took a knee.

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