The University of Virginia men’s basketball team posed for a photo as a sign of unity against social injustice Thursday night. The teammates, dressed in black with arms interlocked, knelt at midcourt of the John Paul Jones Arena practice floor. Several players posted photos of the moment, tweeting “Kneel for Injustice. Kneel for Equality.”
Senior guard London Perrantes tweeted the image and the quote, adding “Using our platform to help [create] change. TOGETHER!”
“Aiming to make the world a better place with my brothers,” junior guard Marial Shayok tweeted.
“It means so much that we could come together and do this as a team,” junior forward Isaiah Wilkins posted on Instagram. “Regardless of the attention that this gets and the positive and negative responses know that I’m with y’all. Thank you.”
Following the lead of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, athletes — college and professional — have begun protesting the national anthem in some form over the last month, whether by sitting, taking a knee or raising a fist. Now, as the Virginia basketball team has shown, athletes coming together to raise awareness and protest injustice has reached beyond the national anthem.
Coach Tony Bennett said Friday in a statement to The Post’s Ava Wallace: “Our guys realize there are a lot of issues going on in our country. I support their desire to promote peace and equality.”
Cavaliers football Coach Bronco Mendenhall explained his stance on the topic in late August.
“I don’t have a national anthem policy other than I feel fortunate to live in this country,” Mendenhall said. “My simple policy, back to ‘earn not given’ mentality, is I really ask my players to contribute to and do everything they can to make it better.”
He added, “That’s all I can ask my players to do, before they protest anything, have they done all they can do to make it better? If they did, then that can be fair.”
(H/t Streaking the Lawn)