Local volleyball players spark debate after taking knee during national anthem

The nationwide debate has become a local one now after some volleyball players at Starkville High took a knee during the national anthem.

Posted: Oct 6, 2017 4:03 AM
Updated: Oct 6, 2017 4:03 AM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) – The nationwide debate has become a local one now after some volleyball players at Starkville High took a knee during the national anthem and it’s got passionate viewpoints from both sides.

This photo is getting thousands of views on social media. It shows the Starkville High volleyball team taking a knee during the national anthem at Monday night’s game at New Hope.

“They just want somebody to listen, take some action, and do something about it,” Jimmy Crump said.

Crump is a parent of a student and he says the First Amendment gives them the right to take a knee in protest. Others like Angela Noe say they don’t agree with doing it this way.

“I just don’t think it’s the right place or time to do a protest like that,” Noe said.

One of the Yellowjackets players reposted the photo on Facebook saying “It’s not disrespecting the military or the flag. We kneeled for social injustice…Racism is still alive today and some people fail to realize that.”

 “If somebody would step up and do something about that, they’d get up off their knee,” Crump said.

The Starkville Oktibbeha School Superintendent Eddie Peasant released a statement saying: “We are aware some of our students chose to kneel for the national anthem prior to a volleyball game. This is a national debate and a big issue in our country right now, and like most divisive issues, there are strong emotions on each side. A student who attends Starkville High School has the same civil rights as any citizen. We are reviewing the law and our District policies in regards to this and we are having conversations with our students to use this as a teachable moment to help them understand the impact of their decisions. We want them to know as student athletes, they not only represent themselves but also their high school and our school district.”

Noe says although she disagrees with the protest, her husband makes a point.

“My husband he was in the military and he told me that they fought for the right to do that and even though he may not believe in it, they do have that right,” she said.

According to their schedule, the volleyball team will play at New Hope Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

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