FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas women’s basketball coach Jimmy Dykes announced Wednesday six of his players who opted to kneel during the National Anthem last week will no longer do so going forward.
“Over the past week I’ve watched personally a group of strong, beautiful young women support one another even when their views, and even methods of expression, differed from one other,” Dykes said. “I, personally, continue to learn the power that comes from listening. Very, very important. They have come to me in the last couple days and expressed to me they will no longer kneel during the National Anthem.”
Jordan Danberry and Jailyn Mason, two of the players that kneeled before last week’s game against Oklahoma Baptist, gave statements to the media expressing they had no intention of disrespecting the military or the flag.
“As I said last week, we took a knee to bring awareness to the social injustice that we recognize in our society,” Danberry said. “It was not our intention to disrespect the flag or the military. We have heard from many of our fans and we wanted to repeat that we have great respect for our military and our veterans who have served our country.”
Mason said the team has created “Project Unify” to “create a set of key topics that will initiate discussions to enhance understanding between the different members of our community.”
“Topics may range from police policies to youth programming,” Mason said. “Ultimately, we hope these discusses lead to a community event and hopefully change in our society.”