Sara Yang/The Daily Gamecock

Will Muschamp discusses national anthem protests with players

College football may have been mostly protest-free over the weekend, but that doesn't mean coaches didn't have to talk about the latest political news that has seeped into the sports world.

After President Donald Trump made negative comments about NFL players who did not stand during the national anthem and suggested team owners should “fire” those players, many NFL teams joined in on the demonstration Sunday. 

While college football players are not on the field during the singing of the national anthem, South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp said Tuesday he discussed the subject with his players. 

“I talked to our team about the people that stood up for what they believed a long time ago about this country, and that’s why we are where we are today,” Muschamp said. “But certainly, standing up for what you believe in is extremely important to me, and I addressed that with our players.” 

The kneeling demonstrations started more than a year ago when then San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat, then later kneeled, during the national anthem to protest the social injustices he believes many African-Americans in the United States face. 

Former Gamecock Mike Davis spoke out on Twitter saying, “Players have said a million times that the protest is not to disrespect the flag or military but people continue to IGNORE that." 

One person responded by tweeting, “Free speech works both ways pal. We get it - but we are allowed to be offended when millionaire kids politicize the Anthem and Flag.”

Davis replied, “What does having money got to do with anything. I wish I was a millionaire.”

According to Davis’ comments on Twitter, the protest is not about the flag itself but is about the injustices minorities face in their day to day lives.

Heading into the weekend, the question is whether the protest was a one-time occurrence or if the players will keep their protests going to continue the conversations on the issues they feel need to be addressed. 

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