During the singing of the national anthem for the first round of the NCAA tournament, the entire Georgetown men’s basketball team, as well as coach Patrick Enwing, took part in a kneeling protest.
On Saturday, before the Hoyas battled Colorado in the first round of the NCAA tournament, the entire Georgetown men’s basketball team, along with coach Patrick Ewing, kneeled during the national anthem while every Colorado team member remained standing. The Hoyas ended up losing their battle to Colorado by more than 20 points, 96-73, and were sent packing from the single-elimination tournament back to Washington D.C. Pat Forde, a Sports Illustrated reporter, tweeted a picture showing the team and their coach taking a knee and linking arms.
This isn’t the first time Georgetown has taken a knee for our national anthem. In early 2021, shortly before and in response to the Capitol Hill riot on January 6, they did so in Indianapolis before playing against Butler. However, Georgetown is not alone in this, seeing as how members of other NCAA teams have also kneeled for the anthem during March Madness, as reported by The Hill. As reported by The Associated Press, players from Colgate, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Florida, and Drexel did the same before their games. Georgetown won 4 games straight as the Number 8 seed, beating Marquette, Villanova, Seton Hall, and Creighton and ended up champions of the Big East tournament. They were voted to finish last in the conference in the preseason, but clearly they achieved great things in their season.
In 2016, Colin Kaepernick, who at the time played for the San Francisco 49ers, first popularized this act. He did so in an effort to protest what he views as widespread oppression of African Americans in the United States. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
As well, in October of 2020, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he understood the annoyance some fans have with the presence of politics during games. “The NBA has certainly been the most visible billion-dollar organization championing social justice and civil rights,” ESPN’s Rachel Nichols asked Silver. “As you noted in your press conference the other day, though, that has not been universally popular. How committed are you to being that going forward?” Silver responded with“We’re completely committed to standing for social justice and racial equality, and that’s been the case going back decades. It’s part of the DNA of this league, how it gets manifested is something that we’re going to have to sit down with the players and discuss for next season.” The national anthem has proved to be problematic for many players in most sports leagues, including MLS, NFL, and NBA.
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ARTICLE: EMILY HINES
FBA US NEWS EDITOR: CARSON WOLF
PHOTO CREDITS: THE POST MILLENNIAL