Tennessee Republicans have called on D1 public universities to bar their players from kneeling during the National Anthem.
— Sen. Paul Bailey (@PaulBaileyforTN) February 23, 2021
Tennessee lawmakers on Monday sent a letter to each of the state’s nine public Division I universities, encouraging them to enact policies to prohibit athletes from kneeling during the playing of the national anthem.
Each of the state’s 27 Republican senators, including Lt. Gov. Randall McNally, signed their approval of the notion in the letter, which was addressed to the universities’ respective chancellors and presidents. The move seems to be a direct response to the East Tennessee State University men’s basketball team, whose players knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner” in a Feb. 16 game against Tennessee-Chattanooga.
Tennessee Republican senators, however, described the practice as “disrespectful.”
“While we recognize our student-athletes may express their own views on a variety of issues in their personal time, we do not condone any form of protest that could be viewed as disrespectful to our nation or our flag while they are representing our state universities,” the letter reads. “When they don the jersey of a Tennessee university, they step out of their personal roles and into the role of an ambassador to our state.
“To address this issue, we encourage each of you to adopt policies within your respective athletic departments to prohibit any such actions moving forward.”
We will see if this goes anywhere.
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