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Olivier Sarr and Isaiah Jackson explain reason behind peaceful protest prior to Florida game

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“We know some people would be mad or pissed, but we just want people to understand that it’s a peaceful way to protest.”

UK Athletics

Before Saturday’s victory over the Florida Gators, the entire Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team and coaching staff knelt in solidarity during the national anthem’s playing to protest racial injustice.

While most offered support and understanding for the teams’ decision, a loud minority have offered criticism and vowed to no longer support the team calling the protest ‘disrespectful.’

Monday, senior center Olivier Sarr and freshman forward Isiah Jackson met with the media via Zoom and offered their explanation for why the team opted to kneel.

“We understood that our gesture would have consequences, and we just want people to understand,” Sarr stated. “We know some people would be mad or pissed, but we just want people to understand that it’s a peaceful way to protest. And the way we can, using our platform and we just want people to understand to raise awareness and that’s it.

“I think our actions speak for itself. What happened in the past few days, few weeks and even during quarantine, we just want to show support for our community and raise awareness on the things that have happened lately.”

Jackson added, “This is a great country, but we feel like everybody, like minorities and stuff, don’t have equal rights as everybody else, so that’s what we’re protesting. That’s why we kneeled. That’s what a peaceful protest is.”

Watch both players full press conference’s below via Big Blue Insider:

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