When Ayanna breaks down, a junior at the Bluefield College female basketball team, heard that the male team had been suspended by kneeling during the national anthem before the games, she and her teammates were not surprised.

The decision to kneel was not a spur gesture of the moment. As a school and professional athletes of color throughout the country that had done the same, the mostly black team wanted to make their presence feel and pose public awareness about police brutality against color and racial injustice in Society in general, was said. WHO has been participating in other protest actions led by university athletes, including non-black athletes.

George Floyd's police, should also occur in Bluefield, a small Baptist institution in the Southwest Virginia.

"We want you to understand that we are here and we can not turn it off, we can not stop being black and ignore it," Strothother said. "This is a Christian community, everything that happens on campus is based on faith. But at some point, you have to look at you in the mirror and say: 'Jesus would not want this to happen in our country and culture'" .

Prohibit athletes from kneeling during the national anthem "Just do not feel good with me," she said.

Strother said that the experiences and concerns of black students do not usually discuss or addressed by Bluefield leaders even though these students are 15 percent of the student body. The rest of the students are 59 percent white and 6 percent Hispanic or Latinos, according to autumn data from the National Center for Education Statistics. (Thirteen percent of the registered students were classified as "Race / Ethnicity Unknown").

The full basketball team was issued a suspension of a game on February 11 by kneeling before several games, ESPN reported. The team was forced to lose the game because players violated a directive from the president of the university, David Olive, to remain in the costumes or stand during the hymn. Olive and players have been engaged in conversations about the intentions behind kneeling and their experiences as black students, according to a letter of February 11, wrote to the campus. Olive also promised to have more forums and "significant discussions" about racism with the campus after Floyd's murder.

but Stanley Christian, a senior on the male basketball team, told ESPN immediately after the suspensions that meetings with Olive "as if we were talking to a wall" and that is limiting the rights of The freedom of expression of the players and using their status as athletes representing Bluefield to justify the decision.

Olive explained that the kneeling was politically divisive and would be negatively seen by "former students, friends and donors" of the University, its letter of February 11.

The message of the athletes "was being diluted or was completely lost because some saw their act of kneeling as a lack of respect for the flag, our country and our veterans," he wrote. "In my opinion, your message was not heard."

He also pointed out that athletes not only speak for themselves because "at any time, a student athlete puts a shirt that says 'Bluefield College' in is, the message is not what.

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