Kentucky head coach John Calipari is coming under fire for comments he made about his players kneeling during the national anthem prior to their recent win over Florida.
Calipari, who knelt with his players that day, seemed to express some unease about doing it following Tuesday’s loss to Alabama.
“I didn’t know about it until 90 minutes before the game. We’ve had a talk since then about...you don’t need to speak, you need to have action,” Calipari said. “How do you bring people together? How do you make a difference? Not just how do you make a statement?
“They’re 18 years old. They’re learning. These kids are good kids. They’ve got good hearts. Again, this political time, probably not a real good time to do it. But when they came in, we really feel strongly, we want you to kneel with us. I put my hand on my heart even though I did kneel.”
Since then, Calipari has been criticized for not being more supportive of his players.
Well, he got the message and just sent out his own message to make it clear he stands with his guys.
I STAND WITH, FOR AND BY MY PLAYERS. ALWAYS HAVE AND ALWAYS WILL!— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) January 14, 2021
Calipari is regarded as one of, if not the biggest players’ coach in the sport. He probably could have used better phrasing with his comments on kneeling, but no one should question his support of his players.
I've covered @KentuckyMBB every day for all 12 of @UKCoachCalipari seasons and with 40 total years in the business. There has NEVER been a coach more supportive of his players than John, and it's not particularly close.— Darrell Bird (@DarrellBird) January 14, 2021