Millikin University on Tuesday responded to online discussion (and considerable criticism) of its football team after all members except one stayed in the locker room for the playing of the national anthem at a recent game. One player emerged from the locker room and stood for the anthem. The boycott of the anthem was part of a national movement of football players and others to go down on one knee during the anthem to protest the treatment of black people by the police in the United States.
On Facebook, Millikin posted this statement: "The national anthem is an opportunity to reflect on the liberty and freedom we hold sacred and work to foster. Millikin University will continue to celebrate that tradition at every one of our games. True to our mission to prepare students for democratic citizenship in a global environment, we respect the rights and beliefs of our students, faculty and community to exercise their civil liberties, in ways consistent with their conscience, while the national anthem is played. With that in mind, when the Big Blue take the field this weekend, we will continue to support the individual expressions of those liberties and freedoms."
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