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University of Arkansas Lady Razorbacks Explain Why They Took a Knee Despite Criticism

On Thursday, Nov. 3, six University of Arkansas Lady Razorbacks basketball players joined San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest by kneeling against police brutality and racial injustice.

Since late August, Kaepernick’s protest has swept the nation. While athletes across different sports have taken up the cause, the QB has received death threats and an array of criticism. However, he has remained steadfast and continues to inspire young people to know their rights. 

Prior to an exhibition game between Oklahoma Baptist, players Jordan Danberry, Tatiyna Smith, Kiara Williams, Jailyn Mason, Yasmeen Ratliff and Briunna Freeman knelt despite possible backlash. In a news conference after the game, the players revealed why they decided to risk their young careers to bring awareness to racial injustice.

“Me and my teammates took a [knee] today during the national anthem to speak for those who are oppressed. As Razorback student-athletes we have a platform to do that,” said Danberry, a sophomore guard. “… People have turned a blind eye to it. We’re here to raise awareness.”

Freeman, also a sophomore guard, adds that they did not intend to disrespect the university or fans.

“… We love being a Lady Razorback and we love our fan base and we didn’t mean any disrespect by it. We just feel like a lot of things in society need to change and one thing is police brutality.”

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