A Vanderbilt University sports editor who displays a mask on his social media avatar reports the school's women's basketball team will remain in the locker room during the national anthem for the duration of the 2020-21 season. The move is touted as a powerful gesture by coach Stephanie White, her staff and players. Part of the social media message read..
"We are not just student-athletes, and this is more than about playing a game. We feel the responsibility as ambassadors to our university, role models to young girls, and members to our community."
It is said the protests under White with the basketball team dates back to 2017, when six players took a knee during the anthem. Remember the good old days when Charles Barkley proclaimed that he is not a role model? It has been quite a past week on the Vanderbilt campus. First Sarah Fuller made national headlines for her ceremonial kickoff in the Commodores football game at Missouri. The next day the winless team fired head coach Derek Mason, one of just 14 Black coaches in FBS football. Last Monday, play-by-play announcer Joe Fisher had his coaches show with interim Coach Todd Fitch cut short. Fisher had a bad performance on-air and reportedly asked Fitch different versions of the same question. Fisher later resigned, announcing he had entered rehab. If universities have difficulties weighing on-field or on-court success versus social justice and representing their school, then perhaps sports should be deemphasized.