KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — While the debate rages on about athletes protesting the National Anthem, Tennessee coach Butch Jones dismissed the issue for the Volunteers since most college football teams do not participate in the pregame anthem anyways.
Like most schools, the Volunteers remain in the lockeroom until after the National Anthem is played.
On Wednesday, Jones was asked how he would handle a player making a similar statement to San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick and subsequently other NFL players over the weekend.
Jones replied, “Everyone has a right to freedom of speech and their beliefs, but in college football we don’t really have that because we’re not on the field for the National Anthem.”
He weighed in further, saying, “To be every honest with you, I haven’t given it too much thought. I respect it, and I respect what’s going on and I have some personal opinions on that, but for us, we’re not really affected by that because we’re always in the locker room.”
No. 15 Tennessee hosts Ohio on Saturday at noon.