COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - “Louder than ever.” Gamecocks women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley understands the importance of her voice, now more than ever.
“I got ammunition now,” Staley said. “There’s nothing imaginary about what took place on Wednesday or in the summer.”
On Saturday, Staley reflected on what transpired on Capitol Hill earlier this week, calling it ‘domestic terrorism.’ She also called it disheartening that the fans who ridiculed her players’ for sitting during the national anthem have yet to condemn the attack in Washington D.C., at least to her personally.
When it comes to her players’, she hopes more people that criticized their actions will begin to ask a simple and essential question, why? Why do they sit for the anthem? She emphasizes people can support the reason even if they disagree with that action.
And the attacks on Capitol Hill amplify the significance of continuing to raise awareness on the division in our nation and racial injustice.
“I’m not afraid to say it’s one of the main reasons our players sit during the national anthem,” said Staley. “That is what they, us, have had to deal with all of our lives. I have yet to have anybody call out those acts in D.C. as disrespectful, despicable, or all of those adjectives our players have been called over the past few months because of what they’re doing. Have yet to have anybody that reached out to me, come on my timeline, come on my phone, have yet to condemn that action. That’s disheartening.”
“When you decide to do something that is not liked by the masses, you set yourself up for some backlash. Our kids are strong. This is what they’ve dealt with all of their lives.”
“When you have mostly adults, who have lived half of their lives and they have been able to experience what they’ve experienced through their eyes, really judge young people in their formative years, that’s disheartening.”
“We got our why on Wednesday, we got a big why on Wednesday. And everybody that said those things, mum is the word. When our players sit, when Tennessee kneels, I don’t want to speak for Tennessee. This is the reason why. There’s an America that is truly divided. We don’t’ like it, and that’s what we’re trying to bring awareness to.”
“It’s about being able to disagree, understand, and support. You can support without agreeing. That’s where we are trying to get people to understand what’s happening.”
“Should we shut up and dribble? No, we shouldn’t.”
“What they [rioters that stormed Capitol Hill] did impacts all of us, so we’re not going to shut up and dribble. We’re going to live our lives and keep our eyes open and speak out on things that hit our heart a certain way.”
“We got to take our blinders off and continue to have these uncomfortable conversations. Five people died out there, and we should not be okay with it. It was very avoidable. We need to call it was it is, domestic terrorism.”