Protest on the hardwood: Vandy players kneel before game

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE- Prior to their exhibition game Sunday afternoon against Marian (Ind.) University, several members of the Vanderbilt women’s basketball team took a knee during the playing of the national anthem.

Pictures of the players kneeling circulated around the internet after the game and neither head coach Stephanie White or any of the players were made available for comment after the game. Vanderbilt athletics department spokesperson Kyle Parkinson confirmed that some players knelt during the anthem but didn’t comment further.

Though the initial reaction on social media was mostly negative, there were some supporters of the movement as well.

White made some waves a few weeks ago when she commented that the lack of an invitation to the White House for the national champion South Carolina Gamecocks was a “slap in the face”.

“It bothers me for them,” White said. “Because I certainly think when you’re inviting every other champion, that it’s a slap in the face when you’re not invited, no doubt. It bothers me for them because they deserve that opportunity if it’s presented to everyone else. From someone who’s had that experience and understanding what that experience means, for Dawn and her team, it’s kind of a slap in the face.”

White is entering her second season as the head coach of Vanderbilt. The team opens the regular season at home on Friday, November 10 when they take on Middle Tennessee State University.