Let me start with a few questions:
Did the United States have a civil war? Was a major component of the civil war slavery in the breakaway “Confederate” states? Was the confederacy defeated and slavery made illegal?
While you’re reflecting on the answers to those questions, please also read the beginning of this article, from the Mississippi Clarion Ledger, via knoxnews.com:
OXFORD, Miss. — Ole Miss basketball coach Kermit Davis defended the players who knelt during the national anthem, saying they did so in direct response to the pro-Confederate rally that was taking place on campus at the same time.
“This was all about the hate groups that came to our community and tried to spread racism and bigotry … in our community,” Davis said during his postgame press conference. “It has created a lot of tension for our campus. I think our players made an emotional decision to show these people they aren’t welcome on our campus, and we respect our players’ freedom and ability to choose that.”
As many as eight Ole Miss basketball players knelt during the national anthem prior to the Rebels’ 72-71 win over Georgia on Saturday.
Let me get this straight: in an effort to protest a pro-confederate rally, “as many as eight Ole Miss basketball players knelt”…in a show of disrespect for the national anthem of the country which defeated the confederacy and put it out of business.
Does this make sense to you? Would it make sense to these players or their coach if they thought about it for more than, say, two seconds?
(The “rally”, incidentally, drew maybe 100 supporters – and about 50 counter-protesters. Not exactly a groundswell of support. Their claim was that the rally was only to preserve several confederacy-era statues on campus which might be taken down – a claim belied by their carrying confederate flags and singing “Dixie”, as if this were some wonderful point in time rather than a war to maintain the south’s slave culture.)
If Ole Miss basketball athletes mounted a protest against people who rallied on behalf of the confederacy, as if it were some kind of benign period in history, not only would I support them, I would proudly join up myself.
But that is not what happened. What happened was that the players were, somehow, convinced that the way to protest support for the confederacy could be accomplished by disrespecting the United States – which defeated and ended the confederacy.
That is roughly the equivalent of Jewish players kneeling during the national anthem to protest a pro-nazi rally. The reason for the protest is valid, but the protest itself makes no sense.
Maybe Coach Davis might want to explain that to his players…