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US Tennessee Lawmakers Sound Warnings After University Basketball Team Kneels During Anthem

23:46  20 february  2021
23:46  20 february  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

Opinion: NBA dropped the ball on national anthem conversation

  Opinion: NBA dropped the ball on national anthem conversation The NBA could have made a statement by allowing Dallas Mavericks to stop playing the national anthem. Instead, they courted even more controversy.That goes for Commissioner Adam Silver, who stumbled clumsily into the rage inferno on the national anthem issue Wednesday by publicly tsk-tsking the Dallas Mavericks the moment word got out that they hadn’t been playing it before games this season.

Students used the student section at a Tennessee basketball game to protest a racist image posted by a fellow student. Controversy over a racist image posted on social media by four people believed to be students at the University of Tennessee spilled into the stands at an SEC basketball game on Tuesday. Outrage was sparked last week when a social media image began to circulate showing two of the four white males involved wearing a dark substance on their faces with a caption reading

CNN Wires, “Jaguars, Ravens Kneel During Anthem as NFL Sunday Kicks Off,” fox2now.com, Sep. 24, 2017. Brian Hoffman and Lance Booth, “What Every N.F.L. Team Did During the National Anthem on Sunday,” nytimes.com, Sep. Kaepernick and others who have refused to stand for the national anthem have caused division among their teams , their fans, and across the country. The Santa Clara police union hinted they would boycott providing security at games after Kaepernick revealed his reasons for protesting the national anthem and wore socks depicting pigs in police uniforms.

Republican lawmakers in Tennessee have expressed disappointment toward the men's basketball team at East Tennessee State University (ETSU), after they kneeled during the national anthem as a symbolic gesture for racial justice.

a person standing in front of a crowd: Tennessee lawmakers expressed disappointment after the players on the ETSU men's basketball team kneeled during the national anthem to support racial justice. Here, the mascot for the E. Tennessee State Bucs cheers for his team on March 21, 2003 in Tampa, Florida. © Doug Pensinger/Getty Tennessee lawmakers expressed disappointment after the players on the ETSU men's basketball team kneeled during the national anthem to support racial justice. Here, the mascot for the E. Tennessee State Bucs cheers for his team on March 21, 2003 in Tampa, Florida.

Players on the ETSU team took a knee during the national anthem before a game on Monday, prompting members of the community to signal both praise and frustration.

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After President Donald Trump attacked NFL players protesting during the national anthem on Friday and subsequently told his followers on Twitter to boycott the league, many players who hadn’t participated in the movement started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the past joined. Kaepernick began sitting during the national anthem this preseason. A silent protest to show support for people of color who are being oppressed in the United States, and to take a stand against police brutality.

Kneeling during the anthem is technically against NBA rules, but players and officials made their plans to do so clear as a form of protest against police brutality and social injustice. NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed the subject in a Time 100 talk in June when asked if the league would allow players to take a knee.

Republican state Senator Rusty Crowe, a former ETSU athlete and veteran, told News Channel 11 on Friday that he felt the move was disrespectful toward the flag.

"This kind of activity will not be tolerated," he said. "When you wear the uniform, you're not just representing your team, your school, your state. You're representing the entire community. I think we should make sure those young athletes understand what it means."

Republican state Representative Rebecca Alexander said she supported the players' First Amendment rights, but did not think kneeling during the anthem was appropriate.

"There are Black people that have died in this country for our freedom. This is Black History Month. We should be celebrating those men," she told News Channel 11.

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The anthem issue has been a major topic in the sports world in recent months, starting with the decision by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to not stand while it is played. Kaepernick cited racial injustice and police brutality among the reasons for his protest, and athletes from many sports — and many levels Heat players and coaches stood side-by-side for the anthem prior to their game with Philadelphia, all with their arms linked as has been their custom during the preseason. The team plans to continue standing that way for the anthem this season as a show of unity.

The players also knelt during a moment of silence before kickoff. “We took a knee today to protest racial injustice, police brutality and systemic racism against Black people and people of color in America. We love our country and we have taken this opportunity to hold it to a higher standard. The monthlong Challenge Cup opened Saturday with a pair of games played without fans at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah. Players for the Portland Thorns (left) and the North Carolina Courage kneel during the national anthem .AP. The Courage defeated the Thorns 2-1 in Saturday’s opening match.

Alexander added that the move sent a "shock" through the community, and said it could affect the university's donations.

"When donors call and say, 'I'm not going to give money anymore to the school,' 'I'm not coming to any more games,' those are things that hurt ETSU," she said.

On Wednesday, ETSU basketball coach Jason Shay defended his players and said that kneeling during the national anthem was not meant to disrespect the flag, but rather to spark a conversation about racial justice and inequality.

"Our intentions by no means involve disrespecting our country's flag or the servicemen and women that put their lives on the line for our nation," Shay said, the Johnson City Press reported.

"No one knows the sacrifice, the fear, the pain, the anxiety, the loss that they've experienced fighting for our country's freedom and rights. But many of us don't know the same sacrifice, fear, pain and loss the people of color have had to endure over 400 years," he continued. "My team is a daily reminder to me that some things are just bigger than basketball."

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Most Americans view professional athletes kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial discrimination as an acceptable form of protest, but there are divisions along political, racial and generational lines. But political partisanship may be playing a larger role in opinion than race. Eight in 10 White Democrats find kneeling during the anthem an acceptable form of protest. A similar percentage of White Republicans find it unacceptable.

The controversy over kneeling in protest of racial injustice moved beyond the world of professional sports this week, when a number of schools told students they were expected to stand during the national anthem . Private schools that do not rely on government funding have more flexibility in setting their own rules for student behavior. The Diocese of Camden in New Jersey said last year that any student who failed to stand for the anthem at a sporting event would be suspended for two games.

Republican state Representative Tim Hicks said that while he was disappointed by the kneeling, he wanted to hear why the players felt the need to do so.

"I would just like to hear exactly what happened in life to bring them to kneel at that ballgame that night. Until we start hearing people's stories, and get to the truth about this, and get to what's really real, I think it's extremely hard for anybody to judge," Hicks told News Channel 11.

ETSU President Brian Noland joined the conversation Friday by saying that he hopes the players decision to kneel can create an "opportunity to heal."

"By no means do I believe that any of our students intended for their actions to be disrespectful to our flag, our veterans, service members, or their family members. However, I recognize the hurt, pain and emotion that has been evidenced across the region," Noland said in a statement shared with Newsweek.

"It's my sincere hope that the image of our students expressing their beliefs on the field of play gives us an opportunity to come together to heal, have dialogue and to replace strife with unity," he added.

The national anthem reminds us how much Americans need to work together

  The national anthem reminds us how much Americans need to work together Protests to the song are understandable, but let’s not get rid of it. The Mavericks and their owner, Mark Cuban, had stopped playing the song before their games this season. Cuban said the team did so because he realized there were people “who do not feel the anthem represents them” and “they also need to be respected and heard.

Kneeling during the national anthem caught on after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began a peaceful protest against police brutality and racial discrimination by refusing to stand for the anthem in August 2016. The practice gained even more traction last year, after the killing of George Floyd and other people of color prompted large-scale protests for racial justice across the country.

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Wisconsin Lawmakers Join Texas in Pitch to Require National Anthem at Public Sporting Events .
Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said similar legislation is on his list of priorities for Texas' state legislature this year.The proposed legislation follows a call for similar requirements in Texas, which Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick said earlier this month will be among his top legislative priorities this year.

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