Virginia College Forfeits Basketball Game After Suspending Players For Kneeling During Anthem

Written by on February 13, 2021

Officers at a Virginia faculty selected to forfeit a basketball recreation as a substitute of permitting gamers to kneel throughout the nationwide anthem to protest racial injustice.

Bluefield Faculty in western Virginia forfeited the Appalachian Athletic Convention recreation on Thursday after suspending a number of gamers for taking a knee throughout the anthem earlier than video games in January and February, Sports activities Illustrated reported.

The Christian college is a part of the Nationwide Affiliation of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Faculty President David Olive mentioned in a prolonged assertion to native NBC-affiliated WVVA-TV that the “foundation” for his resolution to droop gamers “stemmed from my very own consciousness of how kneeling is perceived by some in our nation. I didn’t suppose numerous our alumni, associates and donors of the school would view the act of kneeling throughout the anthem in a optimistic method,” he added.

He mentioned he didn’t grow to be conscious that gamers have been kneeling till early February. When Olive lastly realized of it, he mentioned he informed head coach Richard Morgan that it “wouldn’t be allowed going ahead.” Gamers ignored the demand, and Morgan at one level stored his gamers within the locker room throughout the anthem to keep away from the difficulty.

Bluefield soccer participant Jewels Grey informed ESPN that the basketball staff had been informed earlier than the season that they might kneel in protest. However they’ve now been informed to not communicate to the media in regards to the subject, he added.

“Why would our college contradict what they mentioned?” Grey requested. “We had conferences earlier than the season with [the athletic director] and the president, they usually acknowledged that we are able to kneel they usually’d assist and be behind us, 100 p.c.”

Olive, who’s white, informed ESPN that the varsity is engaged on establishing boards on campus to debate racial inequality. However he insisted in his assertion that “this type of protest” — kneeling — “instantly shuts down numerous people from listening to the meant message due to their perspective concerning the flag.”

The difficulty of kneeling throughout the nationwide anthem to protest racial injustice grew to become an inflammatory subject after Colin Kaepernick started the peaceable demonstration, and former president Donald Trump demanded the Nationwide Soccer League fireplace any participant who did so.

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