Even cheerleaders are kneeling during national anthem

    Cheerleaders at Howard University take a knee Saturday to join a growing national anthem protest.

    Story highlights

    • Cheerleaders at Howard University took a knee before a football game Saturday
    • A photo of the protest went viral, drew backlash

    (CNN)Athletes across the country have been sitting or kneeling during the national anthem in recent weeks to protest police brutality and racism.

    But a football game in Washington, D.C. may mark the first time a squad of cheerleaders has taken a knee during the song.
      Cheerleaders at Howard University joined a national protest on Saturday afternoon by kneeling during the anthem at the AT&T Nation's Football Classic at RFK Stadium.
        Zachary Johnson, executive president of Howard's school of communications, posted a photo of the cheerleaders to Twitter during the game. It's since attracted more than 6,700 retweets and almost 10,000 likes.