Kent State Brings Fans Onto Court For National Anthem in Show of Unity (Video)
With all the controversy surrounding the NFL this year—with multiple players refusing to stand for the National Anthem for various reasons—the Kent State Golden Flashes decided to switch it up Wednesday night.
Before Wednesday night’s home opener, Golden Flashes players went into the stands and asked a fan of a different race to come out to join them for the singing of the national anthem.
— Kent State Athletics (@KentStAthletics) November 17, 2016
Via the Associated Press:
“We understand all of the issues going on in our world,” sophomore point guard Jalen Avery said. “In these times, we felt it was important to show a sign of unity in our community. Our meaning behind it was to let everybody aware of all the things that are going on in our country know that we wanted to make a stand for unity. That was basically our symbol, and we wanted to treat everybody as one.”
Head coach Rob Senderoff had this to say:
“It takes courage for our players to make a statement like this, and I believe it is a representation of the unity in our campus community,” Senderoff said. “There’s a lot of people protesting the national anthem, or protesting the election, or religion. You see all of that nationally, and our guys wanted to make a statement. To me, it was a tremendously positive statement. Hopefully everybody can recognize that. I have a lot of African-American players on my team, and they have faced discrimination because of the color of their skin.
“The statement they wanted to make was that ‘I am greater than that. I’m a person.’ We are all people, and we are going to try and bring some unity here on campus. I think they made a positive statement with what they did.”