The controversy act of “taking a knee” during the national anthem served as the subject of the seventh annual Delaware State University Speech Tournament.

Held Feb. 28, students gave speeches in which they argued either the pro or con side of the question, “Is the NFL Taking-a- Knee Phenomenon an Effective

Method of Protest for Bringing Change?”

Reginald Daniel II, a sophomore political science major from Magnolia, took first place arguing that the protest was not an effective way to protest police brutality because, “since it began nearly two years ago, there has not been a single major legislative change to combat police brutality,”

Jessica Garcia Rico, a sophomore pre-nursing major from North Carolina, took the second-place prize for her argument that “take a knee” was effective because it drew a lot of attention to the issue.

“This protest has served as a platform to effect that change, not only through the perspectives of many but also through the action that has followed so far,” said Rico.

Gary Hall, a sophomore middle-level education major, took third place in the Speech Tournament. Honorable mentions went to Aniyah Mays, a criminal justice major from Wilmington; Andrew Chambers, a sociology major from Upper Marlboro, Maryland; and Tulia Mitchell, a business administration major from Harlem, New York.

The first-, second- and third-place winners won cash prizes of $600, $300 and $150; each honorable mention won $50.

About 15 students competed. As in previous years, attorney members of the Delaware Barrister Association served as judges for the event. Sam Hoff, DSU professor of political science and director of the Law Studies Program, was the coordinator of the Speech Tournament.