BOCA RATON – FAU basketball coach Michael Curry isn’t anticipating any national anthem-related distractions from his Owls when they open the season on Nov. 11 against Texas St. in Hawaii.
“For us, we’re standing as a team with our hands over our hearts for the national anthem,” Curry said.
San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick started a movement during the NFL preseason when he elected to remain seated during the pregame playing of the national anthem, stating he was doing so to protest racial injustice.
Kaepernick has since taken to kneeling during the Anthem, and several other NFL players have since followed his lead. There has been speculation that some NBA players may also take a knee once the regular season tips off on Tuesday.
FAU football players take the field following the anthem, so if they wanted to participate in the protest they would do so away from public view.
Curry holds weekly meetings with his players during which they discuss current events. Kaepernick’s protest served as one such discussion.
“What I said is, and I’m not going against what anybody else’s belief is, when you hear the national anthem, did the flag or the words of the national anthem do something? Or was it people who didn’t uphold it?” Curry said. “It’s the people that didn’t uphold it. The flag didn’t do anything it didn’t do other times.”
Curry is entering his third season as FAU’s coach. The Owls are 17-45 under his tenure but did, in March, win their first postseason game since 2008.
A former NBA player, coach and head of the National Basketball Players Association, Curry said the team unanimously decided to stand for the anthem.
“We can go out and do things in the community, but whatever we decide to do as a group we were going to do it, and as a group they wanted to continue to stand for the national anthem,” Curry said.
Curry believes that if a player or the entire team wants to raise social consciousness or protest world events, there are better platforms than during the anthem.
“We are all disappointed in the behavior or the actions that people are doing and there’s many ways to protest or address it,” Curry said. “I just think however we address it I want it always to be as a group and you sit down and discuss. And you have some who have family members in the military or have been in the military, so maybe they have a different stance on things – a different respect level for it.”
FAU will hold its basketball media day on Monday.