College Sports

Lawmakers threatened to cut funding if LSU players took a knee. But there’s one problem.

The LSU sideline erupts in celebration after a touchdown by wide receiver D.J. Chark during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Auburn in Baton Rouge in October 2017. Unnamed state lawmakers threatened to cut funding to LSU if players took a knee during the playing of the national anthem.
The LSU sideline erupts in celebration after a touchdown by wide receiver D.J. Chark during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Auburn in Baton Rouge in October 2017. Unnamed state lawmakers threatened to cut funding to LSU if players took a knee during the playing of the national anthem. AP file

Louisiana lawmakers threatened to cut funding to LSU if any players protested the national anthem during a game, but there’s one small problem — they’d never know who was taking a knee and who was standing.

That’s because the Tigers remain in the locker room during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner before taking the stage, LSU President F. King Alexander told Catherine Rampbell in her opinion column, “Why do so many Republicans Hate College?” published by the Washington Post.

The threat to cut funding came in a phone call to LSU but the university wouldn’t name the legislators who took part in the complaint when asked by Advocate reporter Elizabeth Crisp.

Football players taking a knee during the anthem was brought into the national spotlight by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Since then, several players on various NFL teams have joined in the silent, peaceful protest.

Members of the Coast’s favorite football team, the New Orleans Saints, participated in the silent protest in 2017. Saints coach Sean Payton defended their decision, and Drew Brees later made a statement that changed the minds of some angry fans who pledged to give up the team and stop watching football on TV. The solution was to kneel together as a team before the anthem then stand up and lock arms as the song played.

Alexander told the Washington Post the threat was later withdrawn.

Justin Mitchell: 228-604-0705, @JustinMitchell_

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