Tennessee lawmakers discuss ETSU MBB’s kneeling during the national anthem
The subject of the ETSU Men’s Basketball team taking a knee during the national anthem has reached discussion among Tennessee lawmakers.
During a joint committee meeting on government operations on Monday, and more specifically discussion about the review of government operations and Title IX laws at institutions in the University of Tennessee system, Sen. Rusty Crowe of Johnson City, raised a question on if first amendment rights protected by the university’s code of conduct extends to athletes participating a sanctioned event representing their school.
“I think most of us are thinking that when you are in that uniform and you’re acting as an ambassador for the university and the state, there possibly is a line there that differentiates that freedom of speech,” said Crowe.
Rep. Vincent Dixie of Nashville shared opposite views about what he referred to as a peaceful protest.
“I would caution the university on trying to stymie the growth or the protest of a student, because they believe in a cause or they believe something bigger than them,” said Dixie.
Following the team taking a knee, ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland revealed during a Board of Trustees meeting last week there has been pushback against the move among donors and alumni.
Photo Courtesy: Tennessee State Government