Let’s drum up the national anthem protest debate once again. On Saturday, February 23, eight members of the Ole Miss basketball decided to take a knee during the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner” ahead of their game against the Georgia Bulldogs.
Videos and photos of the players kneeling immediately surfaced on social media.
It wasn’t immediately clear why the players decided to take a knee, but the context has since been provided.
The eight players — who appeared to be KJ Buffen, D.C. Davis, Brian Halums, Luis Rodriguez, Devontae Shuler, Bruce Stevens, Breein Tyree, and Franco Miller Jr., according to ESPN — where kneeling in response to a Confederacy rally in the area.
Outside of the arena, a group of out-of-state protesters where gathering to protest “Ole Miss’ discontinuation of Colonel Reb as its mascot and other efforts the university has taken to distance itself from Confederate heritage.”
Here is a video of the Rebels on the court as the national anthem played:
— wells taylor (@____wells____) February 23, 2019
And a clearer photo, which showed other players putting their hands on the back of those who chose to kneel.
— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) February 23, 2019
Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis previously said his team would “respect the flag and the national anthem” and said that standing for the anthem was important, so it will be interesting to see how he responds to today’s moment when facing questions from the media.