In the wake of the NFL’s kneeling controversy, several students at the Georgia Southern-Arkansas State game on Wednesday chose not to stand or place their hands over their hearts while the band played the national anthem.
In a video, at least five students can be seen standing and not placing their hands over their hearts or not standing at all as the anthem plays. Whether or not these students intended this display to be a form of protest is unclear. The George-Anne has not been able to reach contact with those involved.
GS students react
“I think, honestly, they’re just lazy,”said Deanna Dallas, freshman criminal justice major. “Not standing is disrespectful.”
Dallas said, however, that she does not have a problem with the students who stood but chose not to place their hands over their hearts. She feels that standing suffices when paying respect during the anthem.
Destiny McLean, freshman food and nutrition science major, does not see a problem with the students sitting during the anthem.
“I feel as though if you don’t want to stand, you shouldn’t have to,” McLean said.
McLean questioned why the act of sitting during the anthem is such a big deal, especially if those choosing to do so are protesting “social injustices” such as discrimination and police brutality.
Lauren Love, junior chemistry major, said it is possible the sitting students are merely copying the kneelers in the NFL.
“They might just be followers and doing what they saw on TV,” Love said. “I disagree with them, but they have that right.”
Love said she stands during the anthem because she’s proud to be an American, but understands that not everyone shares her beliefs. She said she does not think less of the students who chose to sit.
“The flag stands for the freedoms we have,” she said. “I think the whole purpose of having the flag is so people can do what they want.”