Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers wept on the Senate floor Monday in talking about how hurt he was to see the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team kneeling during the national anthem before a game Saturday at Florida.
Stivers said the kneeling is protected by freedom of speech. “Was it at the right place or the right time, that is debatable,” he said before reading a letter of his uncle, Franklin Stivers, in combat during the Korean War in December 1950, and talking about his son’s duty in the military.
Laurel County Sheriff John Root and Jailer Jamie Mosely held a “burning party” of UK basketball apparel in protest. Root said on a Facebook post that UK may have won the game but lost respect. He criticized coach John Calipari, who joined the team in kneeling, for allowing the event.
UK coach John Calipari, who knelt with his players, defended their decision to do so Saturday.
“These kids are good kids,” he said. “They care about this country and all the other stuff. They’re trying to figure out life and making statements they think they have to make. I want to listen to what they’re saying, and then I’ll support them if they want me to be there.”
“Six of these players come from military families,” he said. “Either their father was in the military, their brother, their uncle, a couple of them, their grandfathers. They were in the military. This wasn’t about the military. … (Athletic director) Mitch Barnhart comes from a military family. We are supportive of all those things and our school is. But this came from their heart, and it was peaceful.”
No scriptures and/or proselytizing