A Beaumont photographer is sharing how a recent silent protest by youth football players is starting a conversation among those who witness the gesture.

The owner of MHD Media says he's worked as a team photographer for the Beaumont Bulls for years. On Saturday, he says one of the coaches for the senior league asked him to capture the players during the national anthem.

The photographer says as the anthem was played, coaches and middle school players took a knee to "protest violence against black youth."

The Beaumont man explains the team members wanted to start a conversation about ending gang violence, bullying, officer involved crimes and other issues. He said the players decided to kneel instead of sit down to show that they still respect the military and others who have made sacrifices for our freedom.

Reaction to the silent protest has been mixed. The photographer says some people applaud the team for using a non-violent way to protest. Others say even with the kneeling motion instead of sitting during the anthem, the move was still disrespectful.