Championship winning South Carolina women’s basketball team sparks backlash after staying in locker room during national anthem to protest ‘racial injustice’: Woke coach says ‘I don’t like what our country has come to’
- The South Carolina Gamecocks women’s basketball team stayed in their locker room while the national anthem played prior to a game at the NCAA Final Four
- Head coach Dawn Staley’s team did not come out for the anthem during home games this year or for any matches during this year’s NCAA tournament
- The difference this time around: Players for Louisville emerged and stood at attention during the traditional pregame rendition of the Star Spangled Banner
- It was a gesture few women’s college teams have taken part in this year
- South Carolina ultimately beat UConn 64-49 to win the women’s national championship on Sunday night
The South Carolina women’s basketball team sparked backlash after missing the on-court national anthem before their NCAA Final Four appearance Friday night.
The Gamecocks were nowhere to be seen before their game against against Louisville – a game they won, before ultimately taking down UConn 64-49 to win the women’s national championship Sunday night.
The protest, orchestrated by head coach Dawn Staley, has been ongoing since the middle of the 2020-21 college basketball season.
The difference this time around was the fact that players for the Louisville Cardinals emerged and stood at attention during the traditional pregame rendition of the Star Spangled Banner – something few women’s college basketball teams have done this season.
Cardinals players could be seen at one side of the court Friday with their arms linked, staring across at the empty South Carolina bench.
The Louisville Cardinals stand for the national anthem before taking on the South Carolina Gamecocks during the semifinals of the NCAA Womens Basketball Tournament on Friday
The Louisville Cardinals link arms during the national anthem prior to the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the 2022 NCAA Women’s Final Four semifinal game
Staley previously said the decision was part of an effort 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,’ she said.
‘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.’
The South Carolina Gamecocks players huddle before their game against the Louisville having missed the national anthem by remaining in their locker room
South Carolina have remained in their locker room all season during the pregame ritual playing of the national anthem – but this is the first time their opponents decided to head to the court while the anthem played.
Some Cardinal players could be seen wearing shirts with a message on the back that read: ‘No person in the United States, shall on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.’
South Carolina’s decision to remain off the court angered many users on social media.
Users on Twitter were irked by the fact the South Carolina team decided to stay off the court during the traditional pregame rendition of the national anthem
‘No longer supporting Gamecocks women’s basketball. They cannot stand for our country and flag. Not good leadership on coach’s part. I guess she feels it could hurt her recruiting,’ tweeted Ray McDowell.
‘Why did they go to school in South Carolina? They succeeded from the Union first and started the Civil War. I guess they missed history the day the war between the states was taught. Oh yeah, South Carolina was one of the largest slave states. Their moral outrage seems misguided,’ wrote Lou on Twitter.
‘Because claiming that White Supremacy is rampant makes them feel virtuous!’ added Alex Kallias.
On Sunday night, South Carolina beat UConn 64-49 to win the women’s national championship.
Head coach, Dawn Staley’s team, pictured did not come out for the anthem during home games or any of this year’s NCAA tournament