Eight University of Mississippi men’s basketball players kneeled in protest during the national anthem Saturday in response to a Confederacy rally near the arena in Oxford.
Minutes before the game against Georgia, both teams formed lines for the anthem.
As soon as “The Star-Spangled Banner” began, six players from the Rebels took a knee and bowed.
Several Ole Miss players knelt during the national anthem. pic.twitter.com/AU2OiWcC6F
— Neal McCready (@NealMcCready) February 23, 2019
Toward the end of the anthem, two teammates joined them.
Some observers questioned the logic of kneeling during the anthem of the country that defeated the Confederacy in order to protest the Confederacy.
If you want to stick it to the confederates, shouldn’t you support the anthem of the Union?
— Jake Collins (@JakeBCollins) February 23, 2019
I hate that there was a confederacy rally in my town so I’m going to protest against the flag that ended it. #OleMissLogic
Congrats on your thrilling one point win at home against 1-12 in the SEC Georgia.
— Sam (@Sam4Vols) February 23, 2019
Many people expressed anger over the Ole Miss protest.
I hope they get this figured out and school wont allow this or teams to start this. No need for politics in college sports.
— WARTIGER! WAREAGLE! (@jeremyminton9) February 23, 2019
Hope they never win another game !!
— Marshall Winkler (@Hoganknows) February 23, 2019
Disgraceful and shame on the University!!
— Dwayne Smith (@bigorangeatl) February 23, 2019
The Confederacy demonstration was led by out-of-state protesters a few hundred feet from the arena.
Various student groups held counterprotests on campus Thursday and Friday.
On Saturday, one began on the city square and ended at the Confederate monument in the heart of the Ole Miss campus.
Anthem protests were started in the NFL by then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media at the time.
The demonstrations spread in the NFL but never found a foothold on the college level.
The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.
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