The Kentucky Wildcats made waves across the Bluegrass on Saturday against the Florida Gators. One reason was obviously due to their domination on the court, but the other was due something much bigger.
The Big Blue Nation was split when the young Cats knelt in solidarity in response to last Wednesday’s riots at the Capitol.
It caused a lot of controversy, but while the worst of the fan base is usually the loudest, many stood behind these kids and coaches who stood up for what they believed in.
However, the loudest part of the crowd made their voices heard, so John Calipari decided to touch on it Monday in his weekly call-in show.
"It wasn't about military...six of our players are from military families."— CoachCal.com (@CoachCalDotCom) January 11, 2021
On tonight's radio show, Coach Cal discussed his team kneeling before Saturday's game. pic.twitter.com/jOLusXEB30
Coach Cal said the team approached him about 90 minutes before the game and asked to kneel during the National Anthem. He responded by simply asking, “Why?”
The players answered that it was the images they had seen just days before. They said they wanted to have their voice heard and they wanted their Hall of Fame coach to do it with them.
Of course, Calipari did and they were certainly heard, for good or bad.
But Cal wanted everyone to know that it has nothing to do with the military—or disrespecting the military for that matter. He said six (!) players on his team come from military families.
He reiterated that the University of Kentucky, including the basketball players, Calipari, and AD Mitch Barnhart, are all supportive of the military.
But that’s not what this was about. It was about the turmoil in our country right now.
I stand with my Kentucky Wildcats through thick and thin, and I hope you do, too.
These kids are struggling with things more important than a 1-6 start to the basketball season. As they move forward, come together as a team, continue the winning streak, and hopefully make a deep run in March, I pray that the rest of the BBN moves forward with them.