Kermit Davis and his surprisingly good Ole Miss team have been the talk of SEC basketball this season, but the first major story to come out of his tenure came months before his team took the court. During his introductory press conference last March, Davis told reporters that his team would be one “that respects the flag and the national anthem,” a completely unsolicited reference to the Colin Kaepernick-inspired trend of athletes kneeling in protest.
But on a day that pro-Confederate groups marched in Oxford, several members of Davis’ team kneeled during the national anthem ahead of Ole Miss’ game against Georgia.
A pair of pro-Confederate groups riled by Ole Miss’ removal of Old South symbols like Colonel Reb and the Mississippi state flag were scheduled to begin marching in downtown Oxford an hour and half before the hoops game tipped off. Ole Miss students had a counter-rally planned on campus.
There’s been no word from players whether the kneeling was in response to the rally.
Among those players who kneeled were Terence Davis and Breein Tyree, who rank inside the top six SEC scorers. K.J. Buffen, Bruce Stevens, Devontae Shuler and Luis Rodriguez also took a knee, according to the Daily Mississippian.