The Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals took a knee before the national anthem played at their game on Monday evening. Similar silent protests took place at multiple NFL games over the weekend.
Sports programs across the nation are working with their athletes on how to address the ‘taking the knee’ movement. Wayland Baptist University Sports Director, Rick Cooper said their players are always on the field during the pre-game national anthem, and last year they had two athletes take a knee.
“It’s a chance for discussion, for dialogue, and as a University what we would like to be is on the leading edge and figure out reasons behind the problems, the issues behind the protest and hopefully be part of the solution,” Cooper said.
Rather than punishing students for taking a stand, Cooper said it’s an opportunity to get to the core of the issue.
“To find out why someone or making that form of protest you have to sit down and ask them and talk with them and that right there is a step in a good direction,” Cooper said.
He said the school hasn’t had any students take a knee yet this year, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t allowed to.
“As a University we wouldn’t do anything or have any policy that would prevent somebody for the peaceful execution of their constitutional rights and right to free speech,” Cooper said.