A number of gamers on the Bluefield Faculty males’s basketball workforce have been issued a one-game suspension Wednesday for kneeling in the course of the nationwide anthem, based on an announcement from the faculty’s president, David Olive.
Members of the workforce started kneeling in the course of the anthem earlier than video games on Jan. 23, drawing the eye of reports media, and Olive informed the lads’s basketball coach the motion would now not be allowed. The prohibition was based mostly on “my very own consciousness of how kneeling is perceived by some in our nation” and the way “alumni, associates, and donors” of the non-public, Baptist school in Virginia would possibly understand the kneeling, Olive’s assertion stated. Kneeling for the anthem isn’t “constructive protest,” he stated.
“Pointing to the already fractured and divided nature of our nation, I didn’t need Bluefield Faculty contributing to the additional divide; reasonably, I needed the Faculty to deliver folks collectively in a united effort to deal with problems with racial injustice,” Olive stated. “Their meant message in bringing consciousness of racial injustices was being diluted or utterly misplaced as a result of some noticed their act of kneeling as being disrespectful to the flag, our nation, and to our veterans. For my part, their message was not being heard.”
The gamers violated the coach and president’s directive a number of extra instances, together with after a teamwide assembly with Olive, which led to the suspensions, he stated. In response to the gamers’ and different college students’ inquiries about their proper to free speech, Olive stated, “You surrender a few of these rights whenever you step foot on our campus.”
“Anytime a pupil athlete places on a jersey that claims ‘Bluefield Faculty’ on it, the message is now not simply the coed athlete’s message however that it turns into the message of Bluefield Faculty,” his assertion stated. “We’re a personal entity, not a governmental entity.”