Kent State Basketball’s Powerful Answer To National Anthem Protests Is Unity [VIDEO]

Kent State Basketball’s Powerful Answer To National Anthem Protests Is Unity [VIDEO]

Kent State Basketball’s Powerful Answer To National Anthem Protests Is Unity [VIDEO]

Watch, read, or listen to any sports network commentary these days and its inevitable that some mention of the National Anthem sit down protests will happen. We’ve written our opinions about it multiple times and needless to say, many of us aren’t fans of the “protests.”

However, once in a while, the National Anthem protest gets turned on its head. Certain coaches have made it extremely clear that any sitting during National Anthem means player sits out entire game or perhaps even season. Other players have taken it upon themselves to show visible support for our military and law enforcement.

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Last night, a college basketball team provided their own answer to the National Anthem protests.

Kent State University’s basketball team chose unity over division during the national anthem at Wednesday night’s game.

At a time when some athletes choose not to stand or go down on one knee during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner, the members of the men’s team chose to show unity.

Before the anthem was played at the team’s home opener against Mississippi Valley State, each team member entered the crowd to invite fans of different races to join them courtside and sing together.

That’s right. The players took a very unique and powerful stand FOR our National Anthem and for this country.

Each player went into the stands and randomly invited a person or an entire family to join them on the court for the National Anthem. In case you were wondering, this wasn’t an idea put forth by the university. Nor was it the coaches idea. It was the basketball players themselves, specifically the team captains and the seniors who thought of this.

This wasn’t an idea to just gain some extra publicity, although that is definitely happening… it was something that they wanted to do to bring everyone together.

“We understand all of the issues going on in our world,” sophomore point guard Jalen Avery said to ESPN.com on behalf of his teammates. “In these times, we felt it was important to show a sign of unity in our community.”

Senior guard Deon Edwin told ESPN after the game the the plan is to do the same for all home games this year.

“We all come together as one,” he said. “It wasn’t about color of skin. If we can do that at a small school, everyone can do it.”

Exactly.

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In times of trouble, in times when all seems to be upside down, in times when the battle seems all but lost…our flag and with it our National Anthem serve a purpose. They bring us hope, give us the strength and will to continue on, and help us to know that, in spite of it all, at our core – we are ALL Americans. Those young men showed us last night in a beautiful and poignant way, that honor, unity, and respect for our National Anthem and each other is more powerful than taking a knee.

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