If you watched the South Carolina vs. Louisville game in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Final Four on Friday night, you might have noticed that only one team was on the floor during the national anthem.
While Louisville’s players and coaches stood on the floor for the national anthem, South Carolina’s team remained in the locker room.
Some at the Final Four were confused by the scene.
Not sure why South Carolina wasn’t around for National Anthem. pic.twitter.com/wZ3LTuPLoD
— Mark Hebert (@markhebert502) April 1, 2022
Those familiar with South Carolina were not, though.
Gamecocks head coach Dawn Staley and her team have been protesting the national anthem in some form for more than a year. They’ve remained in the locker room for the national anthem all season long.
The majority of our players has sat during the playing of the national anthem every game this season – a decision made by our players to bring awareness to racial injustice in our country. If opposing teams choose to play the anthem during the time we’re in the locker room, then we choose to stay in the locker room.
I talked to [South Carolina associate] Coach Lisa Boyer about this on Wednesday. She told me, ‘I love our country. That’s why I stand, because I love our country. I wouldn’t want to live in any other country.’
I love our country, too. I don’t like what our country has come to, or what our country has been, but I’d like to think that there are people in our country that’s going to lead us more in a unified way than a divisive way, and I’m here for that.
Staley and the Gamecocks will be playing for a national championship on Sunday night.
Tipoff between South Carolina and UConn is scheduled for 8 p.m. E.T.
The game will air on ESPN.
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