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

Officials at a Virginia faculty selected to forfeit a basketball recreation as an alternative of permitting gamers to kneel in the course of the nationwide anthem to protest racial injustice.

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

The Christian college is a part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

School President David Olive stated in a prolonged assertion to native NBC-affiliated WVVA-TV that the “basis” for his determination to droop gamers “stemmed from my own awareness of how kneeling is perceived by some in our country. I did not think a number of our alumni, friends and donors of the college would view the act of kneeling during the anthem in a positive way,” he added.

He stated he didn’t develop into conscious that gamers have been kneeling till early February. When Olive lastly discovered of it, he stated he advised head coach Richard Morgan that it “would not be allowed going forward.” Players ignored the demand, and Morgan at one level stored his gamers within the locker room in the course of the anthem to keep away from the problem.

Bluefield soccer participant Jewels Gray advised ESPN that the basketball staff had been advised earlier than the season that they may kneel in protest. But they’ve now been advised to not communicate to the media in regards to the subject, he added.

“Why would our school contradict what they said?” Gray requested. “We had meetings before the season with [the athletic director] and the president, and they stated that we can kneel and they’d support and be behind us, 100 percent.”

Olive, who’s white, advised ESPN that the college is engaged on establishing boards on campus to debate racial inequality. But he insisted in his assertion that “this form of protest” — kneeling — “immediately shuts down a number of individuals from listening to the intended message because of their perspective regarding the flag.”

The subject of kneeling in the course of the nationwide anthem to protest racial injustice turned an inflammatory subject after Colin Kaepernick started the peaceable demonstration, and former president Donald Trump demanded the National Football League hearth any participant who did so.

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