Sophomore Connor Brewer was the only football player who stood on the sideline during the anthem before Millikin University's game against Augustana College on Saturday. The rest of his team remained in the locker room.
The Herald & Review reported that Brewer, an offensive lineman, remained on the field after warmups when his team returned to the locker room. Millikin spokesman Bryan Marshall said Brewer “did what he felt like he needed to do.” Brewer has declined comment.
The team's decision to stay in the locker room, which was decided after a team vote, followed the Sept. 24 game before which several players kneeled during the anthem in a fashion similar to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Football players from high school to professional levels across the country have joined Kaepernick's protest of the national anthem before games. Beginning in the preseason, Kaepernick sat and later took a knee during the anthem in a protest that has extended through the NFL's regular season as he attempts to raise awareness of racial injustice in America.
Millikin is a private Division III school. Most major teams, including the University of Illinois, run onto the field after the anthem because of elaborate pregame routines that include things like smoke machines to fire up the crowd.
Watch the video of Brewer standing alone on the sidelines here.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.