University of Nebraska's president releases statement backing players protest

Football players receive harsh criticism for kneeling during national anthem

By TIM SEAMAN | tseaman@kcautv.com, Christina Grijalva | cgrijalva@kcautv.com

Published 09/28 2016 06:52PM

Updated 09/28 2016 06:59PM

The University of Nebraska's President, Hank Bounds, has released a statement supporting the Nebraska players who recently protested at a football game last week.

Bounds shared some personal information in his statement about free speech on Nebraska's website:

"I have served in the military. I understand love of country and love of the flag and I know that freedom is not free. I recognize that some are upset by what they saw on Saturday night. But let me be clear. The University of Nebraska will not restrict the First Amendment rights of any student or employee. Our position on this issue is abundantly clear. As stated in Board of Regents policy, which has been in place for almost a half-century: “Members of the academic community have the right to extensive latitude in making their opinions known… The public exploration and resolution of differing views can be successful only when groups and individuals discuss the issues in forums where the right to disagree, speak freely and be heard is preserved.”

One of three Nebraska football players who "took a knee" during the national anthem at last weeks game, will apparently meet with Nebraska Governor Pete Rickets next week to talk about his actions..

Michael Rose-Ivey asked for the meeting with the Governor on twitter.

Rose-Ivey and teammates Daishon Neal and Mohamed Berry, kneeing as the anthem played at last weeks game at Northwestern.

Rose-Ivey says the players, "took a knee," understanding the implications of their actions.

However, what they did not expect was the hateful, racially motivated comments they've received, in person and on social media.

The Governor called the actions quote,"disgraceful and disrespectful," Huskers coach Mike Riley says he's confident with the way he has handled the situation.

Like several other amateur and professional athletes, the Nebraska trio knelt to draw attention to what they see as, the mistreatment of African Americans and minorities in the United States.

Rose-Ivey says the reaction the players are getting is further evidence of the problem.

"Some said we deserve to be shot just other black people who have died recently. Another believed that since we didn't want to stand for the anthem we should be hung before the anthem of the next game," said Rose-Ivey. "These are actual comments we received from fans."

Rose-Ivey went on to say, he is not anti-police, military or American, adding quote  "I love my country."

The Nebraska players weren't the only college players protesting at last weeks game.

Michigan and Michigan State players raised fists during the anthem prior to their games.

As for when Rose-Ivey and Governor Rickets will meet, nothing has been made public.  

Next week is a bye week for the Nebraska football team.

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