tommia dean

Cheerleader Punished For Taking A Knee During Football Game Settles For $145,000

When Tommia Dean took a knee during the National Anthem at a football game at Kennesaw State University, school officials and local sheriffs (who wrote op-eds about how wrong she was to do so) tried to keep her and other cheerleaders off the field for two subsequent games. Dean said their actions were racially motivated and sued.

Tommia Dean filed a lawsuit against the Georgia Department of Administrative Services, which she later dropped when she settled for $145,000.

The settlement agreement—which basically reads, “we’re not sorry and we don’t care,” between Dean and the Department said,

“A compromise has been reached. The intent of this agreement is to buy peace of mind from future controversy and forestall further attorney’s fees, costs, or other expenses of litigation, and further that this agreement represents the compromise, economic resolution of disputed claims and, as such, shall not be deemed in any manner an admission, finding, conclusion, evidence or indication for any purposes whatsoever, that the KSU defendants acted contrary to the law or otherwise violated the rights of Dean.”

Taking a knee is a powerful symbol.

When Eric Reid took a knee with Colin Kaepernick in 2017 to protest Black people continuously being murdered by police, the Internet nearly exploded with support. But these shows of support for the Black community are necessary, especially in a climate of endless violence, hatred, white nationalism, and…Trump. 

They say a photo speaks a thousand words, and we agree.

In other words, it’s interesting to see who didn’t take a knee.

People are here for Dean’s protest, and her settlement:

In a conversation with The View, Dean said, “After seeing the many killings and many attacks against minorities by police officers, I thought it was crazy to have that many. I didn’t think it was right to have minorities walk around and be terrified every day. It’s a burden to have to be scared all the time.”

And then Whoopi Goldberg mentioned the first amendment — and Dean’s right to “peaceably assemble.” And she’s right.



According to Dean’s initial lawsuit, school officials worked to keep her and other cheerleaders off the field during the National Anthem for two games after the initial incident.  A federal judge in February found that Ehrhart and Warren did not act with any sort of racial animus.