Everyone is weighing in on the rise in national anthem protests spurred by Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the song. The latest to give their opinion on the matter is Duke men’s basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewksi who said while he firmly believes in everyone’s right to protest, he would hope that all of his players stand for the anthem with their hands over their hearts.
Via: Duke Chronicle
Krzyzewski on the rights of Kaepernick and others to protest:
I’m glad we’re in a country that allows us to protest. That’s not alive and well all over the world, so we should be forever grateful for that. Certainly, Colin and whoever has the right to do that.
For me, I’ll stand for the national anthem. I’m in the military, I graduated from West Point. I know that our Olympic team stood with their hands on their hearts, but a big part of that is we have a great relationship with the military. We kind of in this Olympics supported TAPS, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, where kids and family members who lost a brother or a husband, they were with us every step of the way. It was our way of saying, ‘We’re with you,’ so that was a statement.
We used the anthem for that type of statement, and God bless our country that we’re able to make those statements.
Krzyzewski on taking his players’ wishes into account regarding the national anthem at Duke and with the national team:
We’ll actually have that meeting with our own team because we’ll stand for the national anthem every time we play, and figure out what they feel about it and as a group, talk about it.
I would hope that we would stand and have our hands over our hearts, but if somebody felt differently, then they have the right to do that.
We never had that issue with the U.S. team, and part of that is you have Wounded Warriors come and speak to help learn about selfless service, you’re probably going to stand with your hand over your heart because you know that person is watching you and that’s your way of saying thanks.
It’s an individual decision, and God bless our country for allowing us to make individual decisions like that.
This is a very sensitive subject and Kaepernick’s whole reason for taking the courageous stance that he did was to get the conversation started and more importantly keep it going.
In addition to talking about the national anthem protests, K gave his thoughts on North Carolina’s controversial HB2 law and a leadership development start-up he just launched. You can watch the full interview here.