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BVU Football Players and Students Plan to Take a Knee During National Anthem

Kylee Deering, News Editor

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Some of Buena Vista University’s football players and cheerleaders plan to take a knee during the National Anthem at the homecoming football game on September 30. The decision follows a movement across the nation of NFL players who have taken a knee or linked arms in the past week as a stand against racial injustice in the country.

The movement, started last year by then NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, began as protest against police brutality. The #TakeAKnee movement was reignited last week after President Donald Trump at a rally in Alabama last Friday said players who protest during the Anthem should be fired and called them disparaging names. Since then, Trump has tweeted several more times expressing similar opinions.

Following Trump’s remarks and tweets, many NFL players, coaches, owners and teams displayed some form of protest and unity during games this week. The players kneeling say they are using their platform to stand up for their beliefs and protest racial injustices in the U.S. The movement has gradually transitioned from NFL to collegiate teams as more athletes join in to take a stand.

According to the captains and coaches of the BVU football team, athletes will be allowed to choose for themselves whether they stand or kneel this Saturday during the National Anthem, and some on the team do plan to kneel.

“We think everybody’s entitled to their own voice,” said Griffin Redding, senior and one of four captains of the football team. “Whatever way the athletes on our team wish to use their voice, we’ll support one hundred percent.”

The team is unsure of how the community will react to their decisions on Saturday, but they’ve remained in unity with each other no matter what. The team has held several meetings this week to talk about the importance of trying to understand each other’s viewpoints and respecting where those views and opinions come from.

“If they have reasons why they believe this way and this is the way they feel, you may not necessarily agree or disagree with their view, but you can at least respect them for being educated and having their own opinion,” said Joe Thraen, senior and captain of the football team. “And that was a big part of the meetings, just sharing each other’s rationale.”

According to the captains and Head Coach Grant Mollring, education was a big component in addressing the issue for the team this week. Coaches and players alike stressed how important it was for everyone to be educated on both sides of the issue and at least try to understand where each other were coming from. Coaches encouraged players to be open-minded and learn from all perspectives.

“I think we’ve done a pretty good job this week educating them as to why this issue has come up and why the NFL is taking the stances they have in terms of the people taking a knee and the people supporting them,” said Mollring. “So I feel comfortable in knowing that our guys understand the issue at hand.”

Mollring said he has allowed his players to choose what they wish to do during the Anthem on Saturday but that the key is the respect the players have for each other no matter what they each choose.

“My wish and hope for our football team is that we present a unified front to recognize that there are injustices still taking place in today’s society, but that we are unified in support of each other’s beliefs and positions,” Mollring said.

The football team has also embraced the expanding diversity of the team and the different cultures that each player may bring. They’ve used the diversity as an opportunity to learn more about other’s cultures and see issues from new perspectives.

“[The coaches] have gone out and done a lot of recruiting, and there’s diversity and different cultures on this team that weren’t in the past, so it’s giving us all a chance to get to know and connect with different people, different areas of the country, different points of view,” said Brady Illig, senior and captain of the football team. “It’s helping us all grow long term.”

The team has also expressed their gratitude for their coaches and the coaches’ willingness to work with them and be open to their views.

“A lot of times you see coaches say, ‘Our team will not be doing this. We don’t stand for stuff like this.’ Our coaches didn’t do that at all,” explained Redding. “They said, ‘We want to respect everybody’s opinion and hear what everybody’s opinion is and facilitate that discussion in a productive way’.”

The captains expressed the importance of being supportive of their team. After spending the week in meetings, discussing views and opinions and learning more about the issue, they have all made their decision about what they’ll individually do during the Anthem. And regardless of decisions, they will all remain in unity and support each other through it.

“The number one thing that the captains need to facilitate through, that the team needs, is just unity and providing a united front and having each other’s backs one hundred percent, one hundred percent of the time, from here on out,” Redding said.

Senior quarterback and the fourth captain of the team, Cole Miller expressed a similar position.

“[The important thing is] to lead the team towards unity and just make sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to what everyone is thinking,” Miller said.

Beyond the players on the field, other students from BVU’s Black Student Union (BSU) will be joining the protest on Saturday and also taking a knee during the National Anthem. The BSU was created by sophomore and current BSU president, Alyssa Parker. Parker is also a BVU cheerleader.

After some personal incidents happened to her at BVU, she felt the need to take action, so she created the BSU to educate others on racial and social injustices going on all over America and on the BVU campus.

Parker said, the BSU wishes to let the public know that they in no way, shape, or form are trying to disrespect the National Anthem, soldiers who are fighting, or veterans, but rather are trying to send a message and bring awareness to the social injustices that are dividing the country right now.

Parker hopes that by taking a knee, it will bring awareness and shed light on issues that are going on. She hopes that maybe it will change the minds of some people and make them willing to help create change.

“I think that with taking a knee, making a statement and starting the Black Student Union and doing all these things, I’m hoping that some people that don’t see a problem can start to see a problem and take steps to change the problem,” Parker said. “I can’t change a problem by myself. It really has to be people helping me take the steps to do it. So I just hope that with doing this, people are talking and learning and wanting to make a difference and help the cause.”

Parker also expressed concerns with education and the reasons behind why people are deciding to take a knee. She thinks that President Trump’s tweets likely stirred up some backlash and some across the nation are deciding to do it just because Trump said they shouldn’t. But she made it clear that BSU isn’t acting because of Trump, but rather because they believe there are social and racial injustices that need to be addressed.

Parker said she has been involved in racial injustices on BVU campus. She said fellow students at BVU referred to her and her roommate using the “N” word. Parker took it up with the university but felt they didn’t get very far. Parker said perhaps it was because BVU hasn’t had to deal with racial issues as much in the past so there’s a lack of policy for things like this. But with an increasing number of black students and other students of color coming to campus, Parker feels that things have to change.

“Even this year, I’ve had a lot of problems with the ‘N’ word and just little, small things that I feel like people don’t think are a big deal,” she said. “But when you have an influx of black students and students of color on campus, those small problems are going to turn into big issues if we, as a campus, don’t address them and talk about them.”

Coach Mollring expressed similar views about the importance of getting on board with the changing diversity of campus and having an open mind.

“I’m from a small town in Nebraska with a thousand people, so I grew up a lot differently than these guys have, but when you go in and recruit these guys and you go into their homes and get to know them, and I’m talking about our players from out of state or players from metropolitan areas, it’s eye opening to me,” he said. “It makes you more aware of situations that you probably weren’t aware of growing up.”

Mollring said that what has impressed him most is the respect the guys on the team are showing.

“I feel like the 80 guys that we have respect each other and value each other as we build this program. Sports and politics often travel together and it is very difficult for young people to separate the two when watching professional athletes take such public stances. We hope that our young people who feel strongly one way or the other are active in their respective causes moving forward,” Mollring said.

He also noted that the team operates under the philosophy of ‘Team Before Self’ and he hopes they continue that as the rest of the season unfolds.

“We have used the following quote from Socrates as a way of reminding ourselves that humanity and society must move forward with positivity: ‘The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on the fighting of old, but on building new’,” Mollring said.

55 Comments

55 Responses to “BVU Football Players and Students Plan to Take a Knee During National Anthem”

  1. kenneth Lembrich "71" on September 30th, 2017 8:55 am

    If any one take a kneel then I will stop giving to BVU.

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  2. COACH AL AND VICKI BAXTER on September 30th, 2017 2:38 pm

    IF THE KNEELING TAKES PLACE, BVU WILL NEVER GET ANOTHER CENT FROM COACH AL AND VICKI BAXTER…..WE BET COACH JIM HERSHBURGER IS ROLLING OVER IN HIS GRAVE AT THE THOUGHT OF THIS….

    AL WAS THE WRESTLING COACH AT BVU FROM 1979-2004, AND HE JUST SAID, KNEELING WOULD NEVER HAVE TAKEN PLACE UNDER HIS LEADERSHIP DURING THE NATIONAL ATHEM. THOSE WHO WANTED TO KNEEL WOULD HAVE BEEN OFF THE WRESTLING TEAM.

    THE NATIONAL ANTHEM AND THE FLAG REPRESENT THOSE MEN AND WOMEN WHO FOUGHT, WERE INJURED, AND DIED FOR OUR COUNTRY AND FREEDOMS….POLITICS NEEDS TO STAY OUT OF IT, AS WELL AS ONE’S FEELINGS ABOUT SOCIAL INJUSTICE !!!!

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  3. Jeffrey L Kellogg on September 30th, 2017 3:32 pm

    Class of 80. USN Officer. Alumni from the gold old days will be done with BVU if Coaches allow this BS. We went to BV to get a great education and to play D3 Sports and not to be political activists. They are representing BVU in those uniforms. I was in the Navy and believe in the right of free speech, but that free speech is on your own free time, not at work and not while you are representing your university!! My employees would be fired if they pulled crap like this on the job while representing me !!! Sad day if this crap happens. Thank you for letting me speak my mind!!!!

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    Mike Madsen Reply:

    Maybe you didn’t attend BV to be a political activist, but that doesn’t mean other students have political activism as part of their experience. Believe or not, this is not BV’s rodeo at this. My parents were both professors at BV during the early 70s (the last years of Vietnam) and there was plenty of activism by students during that time – probably far more “disrespectful” than kneeling during the anthem. Thus, the alumni from the “good old days” (like me) to which you refer might be more sympathetic to this protest than you might think. Also, when did freedom of speech “on your own time” ever result in any meaningful change??? Kaepernick (as well John Carlos and Tommy Smith before him) did what he did in a very public way precisely to get his point out to a very broad audience and stir passions. If he was kneeling down in his front yard or his bathroom “on his own free time” as you suggest,would anything hope to change??? I am also puzzled by you saying you believe in free speech, yet refer to this protest as “crap” in the very next sentences. This suggests to me that your belief in free speech is mostly lip service.

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  4. Darrell Schumacher on September 30th, 2017 4:55 pm

    I dont believe a college team should do this. As our coach would have have said. Thats just unbelieveable. It would make him puke. This is Iowa….this is Buena Vista. It will be a joke. Hope those players dont have grand parents or parents that were in service or police officers. Sad.
    Darrell Sc
    humacher

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  5. Marc on September 30th, 2017 5:36 pm

    Please get involved in the community and help educate young minds on what the national anthem is all about.

    Taking a knee at the football game is not the right platform. As a former player and graduate of BVU, I’m disappointed to see this.

    Some of the players and former coaches I most respect are an active part of our military and should not be honored this way.

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  6. Stacia Hershberger on September 30th, 2017 5:59 pm

    I sure hope that the players Did Not take a knee!!!! I will be absolutely sick if that took place! And I believe a few other Hershberger’s would be so very disappointed!!

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  7. bolte on September 30th, 2017 6:53 pm

    PATHETIC. After seeing how the NFL and everyone around the country has reacted to this why would the college allow this? SO DISSAPOINTING just another reason Storm Lake is going to hell and quickly..

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  8. Scott Whyte on September 30th, 2017 8:17 pm

    My wife and I are both graduates of BVU, graduating in “68 & ’69.
    Following my education at BV, I enlisted in the U.S. Army and served 3 yrs., with the final year in Vietnam. I am also a proud member of the of the local American Legion, also had two uncles and a father in law who all served in WW2, as well as many friends who have served
    in Korea and Vietnam. I am appalled at the possibility the university I attended would encourage or condone such disrespect as not standing for the National Anthem and not facing the American Flag, when so many of us have fought and died to protect the right of ALL AMERICANS to do so. If this disrespect is fact, I will be burning all the BVU clothing I have and not recommending any prospective students attend there. I BELIEVE “THAT IS MY RIGHT AND PRIViLEDGE”. Hope you enjoy the next increase in your tuition, when alums
    like my wife and I abandon the institution we have loved for the last 53 yrs. {REMEMBER,
    ACTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCE!) SCOTT WHYTE.

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  9. Rod Stoulil on September 30th, 2017 9:46 pm

    I believe in individuality and the right to convey ones opinions in a public setting. I also believe in a never waivering respect for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice so we may all live in this great country. The national anthem is played at all events for what purpose, to show unity for this country and to show respect for those who died for our freedoms! It is not a stage for personal expression. Our students need to understand this. What happens during a game when a player or group of players desides to offer personal expressions, right, not allowed, the flag is thrown. There is a time and a place, but it is not during the national anthem!!!! Requiring Unity to show respect for this country and our veterans, during this very short period of time, is leadership. WE are, as adults, charged with leading our youth, please do so !

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    Jeffrey L Kellogg Reply:

    Well said Rod !! Beaver Defense!!! Those were the good old days when the National Anthem would give us goose bumps and a tear in our eye!! Miss the days of Coach Hersh, this new guy will get what he deserves if he lets political activism take place on the field !!

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  10. Zach on September 30th, 2017 11:27 pm

    It’s a liberal arts college, if you have a problem with people speaking their mind and will stop “giving them money” if they do then I don’t think you really understand what it means to be a Beaver. The only thing I can do is apologize for the four years you apparently wasted not learning what a conversation is.

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  11. Luke Anderson on October 1st, 2017 3:20 am

    What is happening around this country is a disgrace. The National Anthem means so much to millions of people. I hope they didn’t kneel during the National Anthem. As a non traditional student, if they knelt, I will not even consider BVU for my pre-med education.

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  12. Charles H. Repsher on October 1st, 2017 7:23 am

    Very upset if BV allows the coach and players to take a knee during our National Anthem. If they want to be activist that’s great. Do it out in the community before and after the game. A few minutes of protest does not make a Great citizen.

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  13. Jeffrey L Kellogg on October 1st, 2017 8:51 am

    Just read the Sioux City Journal and story reads “”Beavers fall in Homecoming tilt with Luther”. Not only did 7 players kneel, they did it at the Homecoming game to show as many alumni as possible that their former school has made a major deviation in their policy of political activism while representing BVU …. so sad for BVU, Northwest Iowa and the USA

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  14. MarQuelle Graham on October 1st, 2017 10:49 am

    Star-Spangled Bigotry: The Hidden Racist History of the National Anthem
    http://www.theroot.com/star-spangled-bigotry-the-hidden-racist-history-of-the-1790855893

    Whoever wrote this article I apppreciate you greatly and owe you some la juas.

    This for all people who have commented on this post.

    I am a black male currently at BVU and I’m ashamed of all of you. You don’t deserve my respect nor do I care about your money. If you are more worried about sports and the military but not the lives of those who actually reside within America then clearly you don’t stand for America. We all wish to be free and brave however that is impossible when you all refuse to acknowledge the fact that America was built off the backs of slaves and that without us America would be nothing and now that we are fighting you are further trying to oppress black people. Education and sports mean nothing if you cannot care for your fellow human beings

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    Garrett Reply:

    MarQuelle, I’m a beaver football alum and veteran. I respect your right to protest and the team and can do as they see fit. As far as I’m concerned veterans of every race, creed, and religion still stand by to see that you can protest. However, you have to understand there is consequences when people that don’t see race as an issue are fiercely patriotic Americans. I know racism is in Americas past, everyone knows that, and as your link states I’m sure racism may have been part of the anthem when written in 1814…..more than 200 years ago! There has been many disadvantaged people throughout history, and it’s not only confined to black people. Do we seek social justice for them as well? When does it stop? It stops when everyone understands they have equal protections under the law and that everyone can seek happiness within their own interests and stop claiming victimhood. I feel so strongly about this because I’ve served beside black men that were fiercely patriotic and they would never think of kneeling for the anthem. I believe there is one key difference between you and them. They refuse to be victims and they refuse to take a victim mentality. Nobody owes them anything and to them what they achieve in their lives is from their own blood, sweat, and tears. Yesterday, as folks were gunned down in the Las Vegas. When people were running out, who was running in? Was the racist white cops?…No, it was the white, black, hispanic, asian, multi-racial police force in LV that ran to the danger. Like most Americans, they didn’t care what race the victims were, they were just there to serve and save. Again, they are not victims. As long as you and others continue to perpuate race it will continue to be an issue. My advice would be to stop being a victim and start unifying people.

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    Jeffrey L Kellogg Reply:

    Grew up in Chicago and a few of my best friends are Black and they agree with me 100 % on my and our stance on the National Anthem. You young kids just don’t get it! It’s not about what happened in the pre Civil War years, Who cares if George Washington or Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. We can’t change what happened in the 1700’s ! Get over it and grow up. I am sure the Board of Trustees agree with opinion “I don’t care about alumni gifts and the school’s endowment ” It’s the alumni that made this school and it’s alumni that will keep the school going. You can think you can live in your short lived world, but trashing the Anthem and the US Military will bring you nothing but hardship down the road my fellow Beaver. Good luck with this view ….. and I don’t need a lecture on “discussion”, I lived through the Vietnam War protests and civil rights movement in Chicago!!

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    Mike Madsen Reply:

    Did you call the protests during Vietnam and the civil rights movement “crap” and “BS” as well??? I will suspend disbelief and accept that you indeed had black friends. But I find it highly unlikely these black friends agree with you “100%”. These would be some very unusual black folk. Your statements remind me of the mayor in “Mississippi Burning” when he uttered those famous words “and our Negroes were happy until those beatnik college kids started stirrin’ up trouble. You didn’t hear them complainin'” – of course not, they wouldn’t dare…..

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    Stephanie Reply:

    Here’s the “my friends are black” take

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    john Reply:

    while understanding racial inequality and the problems we have in this country, take a look around at where you’re going to college. this is about the most diverse community in American, a town that opened it’s arm to people from all over the world and supports the university. you’re comments are a slap in the face to all who do. i see no correlation between race issues and taking a knee. that flag stands for all of our rights to disagree, protest, like or not like you’re president or representatives. you’re protesting again the symbol of the freedoms we have to disagree, protest and fight for change. if you don’t care about peoples strong believes, then maybe you should look in the mirror. if you’re getting any kind or financial aid or support, i would hope you’ll gladly return it, including government loans. i didn’t graduate from BV, but i live in storm lake, so before you decide to offend this town, you’re school and teammates and alumni, think about how you and us can work together for change instead of being divisive.

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    John Galt Reply:

    Nice posting, professor.

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  15. Randy Rydberg on October 1st, 2017 11:22 am

    Whenever the national anthem is played, it is to honor something or someone…. It honors not only the flag, but also our country and every veteran who served out country to allow us free speech.

    Sometimes we add others to be honored during the anthem, like doctors, police officers, heroes, etc. The anthem is never to be played to dishonor someone… If you are protesting anyone during the anthem, you are dishonoring our flag, our country and a veteran who fought for your freedom of speech 100% of the time.

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  16. Sherrie Coffee on October 1st, 2017 11:48 am

    If BVU players took a knee they should be kicked off the team! This social injustice is for your personal time only-not to be done at work or on sports teams! The NFL players have started something very bad. If a players wants to personally support this social injustice it needs to be done on their own time not team time. What does the National Anthem have to do with social injustice-it’s about supporting the troops serving and those who have served to keep us all safe and secure! Those who have served and those who have family members who have served or lost a loved one while trying to keep us all safe derserve to be supported, not “shamed” by those inconsiderate people who choose to take a knee! Makes me disgusted! Shame on BVU!

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    Responder Reply:

    Lol this is dumb.

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    Jeffrey L Kellogg Reply:

    Where is the name and class at BVU on the comment “LOL, this is dumb”

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  17. Shaun on October 1st, 2017 12:15 pm

    Ungrateful lil punks. You are no body special. All you are, are spoiled ,self entitled attention seekers. You don’t have this right.

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    Tre Seiler Reply:

    You don’t know us, nor do you know our stories. By commenting something disgusting like this makes you no better than what you are calling us.

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    Mike Sharar Reply:

    Tre u r very correct most of us don’t know u nor do we know the others that took a knee. Some of these comments have been quite harsh. However, u don’t know us either. U don’t know r background or r past. Let me pose a question to u, what if r forefathers had taken a knee and turned their backs on the new democracy or if young Americans (of all races) had taken a knee after December 7, 1941 we could be under Fascism. Thankfully neither happened. Thus we all live in more freedom and promise than any other country in the world. No I don’t know ur past or current situation , but we all came before u at BV. WE HAVE BV HEARTS and your act is not what we all expect of a fellow Beaver. U all did what u did now u all, ur coaches, and the university administration that condoned ur action must face the consequences. Take this as a learning experience and maybe the next time u take a stand like this u might think before u act.

    I don’t put all the blame on u or ur teammates, u r 18-20 yr old young men. Hopefully ur life’s experiences have kept u an 18-20 yr old young man if not life has not been fair to u. Who I put major blame on r ur coaches and university administrators starting with the President shame on them, they have tarnished the name Buena Vista University by not giving u the guidance needed.

    Tre FYI I’m a 1968 BV grad spent 4 years in the U. S. Air Force. I gave 4 years of my life for u and everyone else in our great country. My sacrifice is minor to all those (of all races but all Americans) who made the ultimate sacrifice. I love my country and see red when people think they have the right to disrespect it!! Not standing putting a hand on ur heart and showing respect and hearing our anthem is disrespectful.

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    John Galt Reply:

    Sure, you are oppressed Tre. Tough life in Laurens. Make a tackle…keep in mind you are not playing for Mount Union, Wisconsin-whitewater, etc….you should stick to what you know….being brain washed by social justice warriors.

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    BVU Football Player Reply:

    Sorry sir, we’ll just keep being mindless athletes. After all, this isn’t a place for higher education, we just came to play some FOOSBALL!!!

    Tre said nothing about being oppressed, it’s about standing by our teammates who wished to make a statement. For the record, yeah there are some social justice type wackos on this campus, but I’d rather have a mix of both than only close minded brainwashed “die hard Americans” like yourself.

    Stephanie Reply:

    The 1st amendment gives them that right. Thanks you.

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  18. Pamela Wartick on October 1st, 2017 1:05 pm

    I am a BV graduate. My father and mother are also BV graduates. My father, 93, is a WWII veteran. I cannot believe that you will allow players to disrespect our flag. The very flag the principles of our country are based on. If people want to make a stand let them do it on their own time. Let them do something that will make a difference in their community or university. My family will no longer support BV personally or financially if you allow this to happen.

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  19. Brandon on October 1st, 2017 2:30 pm

    I wanted to talk about the portion where the individual says they have been called the “N word” while walking around campus. I agree there is no place for this in this world. Does this individual listen to rap music? Does this individual or their friend call each other the “N word”? You cannot cry injustice when you listen to or say this word. Racism goes both ways.

    If you feel like you are being “targeted” or “profiled” against, then do some community activities, hold educational forums, and/or work with the area police departments. Instead of protesting, try something productive to educate people.

    [Reply]

    Mom of kid called the “n” word Reply:

    Brandon,

    Are you aware that they have done all of that? Can you maybe consider that what they are doing now is trying to educate people and look at what happens?

    I imagine based on what I am reading that you have never experienced racism- so how can you dare critique others trying to prevent it? What have All of you done as alumni to make your minority students feel welcome? Are you willing to go to campus and fight for their rights as much as you are fighting here for a flag and song that remind people they are not equal?

    What have any of you done at BVU to reinforce equality at the university you graduated from?

    [Reply]

    Bailey Hansen Reply:

    Racism in fact does not go both ways and victim shaming does not help ANY situation.

    Racism = Race prejudice + the misuse of power by systems and institutions.

    To feel racism there needs to be prejudice against your group of people. There is not prejudice against people who are white. In this country it is a privilege to be white. The first step for us white people to help in the racism issue is to understand our own privilege. I would recomend reading the white privilege article by Peggy McIntosh. This helped me understand my own privelege.

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  20. Susan Grau on October 1st, 2017 2:46 pm

    This is so disrespectful, and as an educator and wife of alumni – we are ashamed to say BV is where our degree was earned from . I hope if administration allows this to happen- that all federal financial aid is pled from those that are prt of the team/ cheerleaders kneeling. This is not an issue that is going to get solved in this manner and is going to cause many to pull contributions!

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  21. Tom Kaloupek on October 2nd, 2017 1:32 pm

    Very disappointing. Shame on you Coach Mollring

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  22. Lisa Siebrecht on October 2nd, 2017 9:51 pm

    Take me off the mailing list……

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  23. vent on October 3rd, 2017 10:26 am

    didn’t the football team take a knee all game a few weeks ago?
    73 points?
    learn to play football before you think you are on a stage for people to recognize

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  24. Parent of cheerleader on October 3rd, 2017 1:32 pm

    I really debated about saying anything due to the sheer number of negative comments being stated here- however I feel it is my right as a parent of a minority child that took a knee with my support to still support her today while adults threaten to pull funding and lash out at college students doing what college students have done for decades- get a voice and stand and be counted. I want my child to go to a university that believes protest and standing up for what is right is one of the tenants of education. Absolutely none of the rights any minority has in this country was “given- they had to be taken. Those of you showing frustration and anger at a peaceful protest- go back and read some of the things said when MLK jr and other protested. See if your comments do not sound strinkingly similar.

    For those making excuses for racial slurs (do they listen to rap music?)- ignorance abounds.

    Do you even know what the constitution says? It is though you took what you wanted to from your history classes at BVU- whatever fits your narrative. Not one person should ever feel lesser than- you cannot argue they do not feel that way unless you walk in the shoes of those minorities.

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  25. Pete Scarano on October 3rd, 2017 6:08 pm

    This is in response to MarQuell. I agree with your point of it being a whole lot more than a football game BUT ever since I graduated in ‘69 I have enjoyed following and watching the Beavers. I go to the games, and HS games and pro games, for the entertainment not the politics. I get enough of that on TV and in the papers. As for all this racism that is going on who do you think is keeping it in part front and center. If you look closely it’s the Black Lives Matter movement. I agree with their idea that black lives matter but I go one step further. It should be All Black Lives Matter but they only lead the choir when a black person was killed by a white police officer. Shouldn’t they also lead the choir when all those black people are killed by blacks. And MarQuelle if you were honest with yourself you’d have to agree with me. Growing up in The Bronx in the 60’s I had a lot of black friends, close black friends. I in no way consider myself a racist but it upsets me to listen to the leaders of the BLM movement when they only address blacks killed by white police. Sometime google Walter Williams. He a black professor from George Mason University and read what he has to say on various topics. In closing the ballplayers and cheerleaders have every right to protest things but as one other writer said “do it on their own time.”
    Pete Scarano
    Class of ‘69

    [Reply]

  26. John Galt on October 3rd, 2017 8:00 pm

    …where is President Merchant in this??? Faculty and the ultra-socialist VPAA, Jim Salvucci, are apparently encouraging the behavior. They hate capitalism and “American” values. They need to look at the names on the buildings…..the bunch of snow flakes are a product of their environs… they embrace philosophies of Marx, Lenin, et al under the auspices of “social justice.”

    [Reply]

  27. B. McCoy on October 3rd, 2017 9:38 pm

    These are kids – yes kids – barely out of high school who are bringing awareness of a social concer that a lot of people share! They are not looting – they are not threatening anyone- they have not disrespected anyone – they only took a knee at a college football game – they weren’t carrying tiki torches and marching down the streets!
    I have been to games – government functions – military functions and many people did not stand for the national anthem from years ago even to the present. No big deal until now?
    So, the question is – is it the kneeling or what the kneeling is about (social injustice) – that has everyone upset? Be honest with yourself!

    [Reply]

  28. Presley on October 4th, 2017 5:59 am

    It’s not shocking that everyone on this post is either an elderly , or middle aged WHITE man or woman. Trump supporters? Yes I thought so. Being from Iowa can be hard to open your mind, but it’s no longer 1973 and we don’t care that you were an alum at BV or that you donate, if you can’t “get with the times” then get out. This issue isn’t an issue of military pride, it’s about the treatment of citizens and how African Americans are STILL treated poorly. To the commenter above that said racism used to exist.. are you serious? Racism is as prevalent today as it was 30 years ago. Unfortunately our president is a racist. It’s time to start realizing that somethings are more important than your own state pride, or that you specifically were in Vietnam, or that you grew up playing football at BV. All of those are things to be proud of, but in the grand scheme of things, sports and the flag do not require your irrelevant opinion or threats of withdrawing funding.

    [Reply]

  29. J. Max on October 4th, 2017 1:30 pm

    I have read each comment several times and I am struggling to get passed the “Ungrateful lil punks. You are no body special. All you are, are spoiled, self-entitled attention seekers. You don’t have the right”. WOW, now that sounded like the comment of a mature, educated adult. And then the overwhelming response of “no more money from me” And “enjoy your next increase in tuition when my wife and I abandon the institution we have loved” I wonder if all of you truly hear yourselves? Oh wait, let’s not forget the “those were the good old days” Does that mean the days when there were no minorities to challenge your views and opinions? You all sound like a bunch of spoiled little rich kids throwing temper tantrums because something didn’t go your way. You alumni so call serve your communities and support your Alma Matures by being bully’s and making threats to cancel funding. Because that is your answer right. Let’s stop educating. It’s so easy to type a comment and make your threats. Why don’t all of you who claim to love BVU so much challenge yourselves to have a real face to face conversation with someone other than yourselves?

    [Reply]

  30. Peter Youngren on October 4th, 2017 3:21 pm

    Take a knee, not take a knee. Place your hand on your heart, or not place your hand on your heart. Remove your hat, not remove your hat. That flag represents the ability to do any of them. Like it or not, that flag is about our freedom to express what we feel, Popular or not popular. This is The United States of America. I stand every time, I remove my hat every time. I don’t believe in protest for protest sake…. If the protest does not offer a solution or a way forward you get what we see above…. miscommunication,anger, name calling, threats of no-support, division,sarcasm. Shame on all of you. America is built on differences and the coming together of human beings. I get it that feelings get hurt, but to turn around and want to hurt someone and the university in kind…….What?? where does it end? who takes the higher moral ground? who leads the way forward? many of the comments are not the America I know and love. This is a black and white issue and I know that we are ONE people one great country and one great community… stop the division and come together right now….over me. Respectfully with kindness Peter Youngren. BVU Parent

    [Reply]

  31. Emily Cordes Pittenger on October 5th, 2017 9:43 pm

    I’m proud of these students. This wasn’t a stunt. This was a way to continue to bring attention to social injustice. As the daughter of a war veteran, I will stand for the flag. As the daughter of a war veteran, I will support the freedom of expression.

    [Reply]

  32. Corey McConnaughy on October 6th, 2017 9:03 am

    Section 171 of the US Code doesn’t mention any legal consequences for not standing for the anthem. It’s no different from choosing whether or not to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, or burning the flag in protest, because all are protected under the First Amendment, one of the most significant factors that soldiers sacrifice their lives and sanity to protect.

    I understand the anger people have with refusing to practice the national anthem customs, but they should remind themselves of the First Amendment when giving their side of the argument.

    [Reply]

  33. Dr. Sandra Madsen on October 6th, 2017 11:29 am

    I’m writing to say goodbye and best wishes to the alums who have written to express their outrage and planned exodus from the Buena Vista family because of the incident at the homecoming football game. You will be missed at the 5th quarter at homecoming, at alumni gatherings around the area and at all the multitude of activities that constitute a BV education.
    While I’m sure your financial contributions will be missed, the fine experiences both inside and out of the classroom will continue, supported by the many alum who have benefited greatly from them.
    I am amazed that you would allow a 5 minute event at the football game, where some college athletes expressed support for an issue drawing national attention, to so color your support of, and commitment to, your alma mater. I ask you to think of this—if your faculty members had given grades to you all based on some 5 minute behavior in a class, would you find that an appropriate response to a specific incident? So your outrage is noted, but perhaps better expressed in a different way.

    Dr. Sandra Madsen, BV faculty member 1974-2000

    [Reply]

    Cody Reply:

    Maybe the administration, the student athletes and the cheerleaders need to understand there are consequences to showing disrespect. Only then, perhaps, will they find a better way to express themselves!!

    [Reply]

  34. BVU Football Player on October 6th, 2017 3:28 pm

    Free speech protects all speech, not just speech you agree with. By not allowing our teammates to take a stand on something they feel strongly for, we effectively silence them. Personally, I don’t agree with kneeling for the anthem or the flag, but if we do not allow others to express their opinion, we become those enemies whom the veterans we honor fought to defeat. A protest isn’t supposed to be popular, it’s supposed to start a discussion. Unfortunately, it seems many of you fail to understand the basic tenets of being an American.

    [Reply]

  35. Darrell Schumacher on October 6th, 2017 11:34 pm

    Great responses about the kneeling. My brother can’t understand these actions. He is a veteran. As a long time coach i believe in educating our youth about why it is important to respect the flag and anthem. As a person who grew up with a father who was in 4 major invasions…those kids dont realize the people who sacrificed what they went through. Plus the fact is to make a difference get involved with helping chance..KNEELING IS NOT ONE OF THEM.

    [Reply]

  36. Jay Grimes on October 6th, 2017 11:46 pm

    Buena Vista University president Merchant’s statement in the Spencer Daily Reporter regarding students respect for veterans is terribly insulting to military personnel, veterans, and patriots in this country. It is the typical type of political pandering I expect from elected officials whose only interest is to be re-elected, and not from the president of a university.

    Merchant’s statement “BVU respects our military members and our veterans” is certainly not true. A university cannot respect, nor can it disrespect. However, the actions of its administrators, faculty, and students may be judged to reflect favorably or unfavorably upon the university. Read on and judge for yourself.

    I’m a veteran who has served my country with honor and pride, and I thank God every day that I was allowed the honor to do so! When people thank me for my service, my sincere response has always been ‘it was my pleasure and honor to serve my country’.

    Men and women of honor who have served, or are serving, in the United States Armed Forces take the vows of defending our country very seriously. We are defenders of the freedoms that many BVU administrators, coaches, faculty, and students use to show disrespect to the very values we uphold. To the honorable veteran, marine, airman, soldier, sailor, and civilian, the U.S. flag represents liberty, justice, and humanity. ‘Taking a knee’ at a time when it is proper and appropriate for all citizens to show respect, and to honor the principles that bind us together as a nation, is incredibly disrespectful to those of us who love and cherish the freedoms we have, and the flag that represents those freedoms.

    So what can I do?

    BVU is my alma mater and I loved being a BV Beaver (2005). Being an alum, I receive 4 or 5 letters from the university a year asking for donations. Occasionally, I respond. No longer. I urge you to do the same.

    BVU is indeed a business of education competing with other universities for students and student dollars. One of the best ways to effect change of a business’s practices is to tell prospective customers the truth about the business itself; Buena Vista University administration, faculty, and students collaboratively decided that it’s appropriate to take a knee (or not) during the national anthem according to President Merchant’s quote in Spencer Daily Reporter.

    As a high school teacher, I will not recommend BVU to prospective students. In fact, I might discourage them from choosing BVU. It is, by the very law that BVU students, coaches, faculty, and administration hides behind to desecrate the ideals of this country, my right to dissuade students from attending that university.

    I urge you to contact the Buena Vista University Board of Trustees if you are outraged by this display of disrespect to our members of the US armed forces and veterans.

    [Reply]

  37. Stephanie on October 8th, 2017 3:56 pm

    So glad I didn’t attend this small, ignorant, close minded university.

    [Reply]

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