Iowa Players Will Be Allowed to Kneel For National Anthem
The Cedar Rapids Gazette is reporting that some Iowa Hawkeye football players will kneel during the national anthem prior to their game at Purdue on Saturday. They will do so to call attention to racial injustice and inequality. It is unknown how many players will take part, but we do know that Tyrone Tracy Jr. will be one of them.
The Gazette reports that Tracy Jr. said during a Zoom interview with reporters that "it's very big to me personally, just because I know how African Americans are treated in the United States." Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz confirmed that players will have the choice to stand or kneel for the national anthem, and added that the team's leadership group met with him three different times to discuss the issue.
Ferentz added that the anthem discussion also included input from a pair of military veterans. The Gazette reports that one was dead set against kneeling. The other was a 20 year Navy SEAL who felt that having the right to kneel as a form of protesting perceived injustices is why he fought in the first place. Ferentz said that the meetings were very respectful of everyone's opinions. He thinks that you'll see a variety of stances taken by players.
Tracy Jr. pointed out that even if some players kneel, and others don't, there will still be team unity. Tracy stated, "We are a team, and we are all going through this together."