MINNEAPOLIS - Robbinsdale Cooper High School opened the season last month with most players kneeling for the national anthem.

They were among the first in Minnesota to do so, beginning last fall.

Many Minneapolis North players have done the same since last season.

In Eden Prairie, Jaylon Hollins believes he's the only player to do it, so far.

"The reason I took my knee is I want people to ask me why I am taking my knee, and ask me why my opinion matters so much to me. Maybe if I spread it to someone else, they can think about it," Hollins said.

And the underlying reason, he says, is that people of color are treated differently.

"People say, like, freedom of speech and everything. But sometimes black people and native people as well don't get to be heard because of the color of our skin. If our skin color is different than white, we're instantly looked at as thugs or gangsters or anything else," Hollins said.

"Certainly you know, if a kid said he wanted to do it, I wouldn't say no, but I'd have a conversation about why. You know, what does it mean to you," said Eden Prairie head coach Mike Grant.

Grant said those conversations are important.

Coaches at Cooper say they sat down as a team and had them last year, and the discussion continues after more than 200 NFL players over the weekend made the same protest.

Minneapolis North coach Charles Adams Jr. said he told every player that they must know the reason why they are taking a knee, and not doing it just because everyone else is doing it. He happens to also be a police officer, and says he tries to lead by example.