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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/MICHAEL WOODS Several members of the Arkansas women’s basketball team takes a knee during the national anthem on Thursday before the start of their exhibition game against Oklahoma Baptist at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Six Arkansas women's basketball players kneeled for the national anthem before the Razorbacks' 79-32 exhibition victory over Oklahoma Baptist on Thursday night at Walton Arena.

Jordan Danberry, Tatiyana Smith, Kiara Williams, Jailyn Mason, Yasmeen Ratliff and Briunna Freeman chose not to stand during the rendition.

Danberry, Freeman and Williams discussed their decision in the postgame news conference.

Keiryn Swenson, one of the players who did not kneel, also spoke to the media.

Danberry, a sophomore from Conway, said the move was a way to speak out against what she called an "unjust system." She also said the team would discuss whether to continue the practice before its next game.

"Recently, you all know that there's been a lot of killings from police officers of African-Americans and other minorities," Danberry said. "Me and my teammates took a knee today during the national anthem to speak for those who are oppressed. As Razorback student-athletes, we have a platform to do that."

Swenson said she supported her teammates and the movement, although she chose not to join them.

"I want to stand in honor of my cousin," Swenson said. "He was in the military, and he passed away last year."

Arkansas Coach Jimmy Dykes said he stands behind his players.

"We have had tremendous dialogue as a staff with them over the last couple of weeks and even before that individually," Dykes said. "I met with them as a group this week on a couple of occasions. They had very, very strong, well-informed, educated opinions based on their real-life experiences, their real-life emotions. I am very, very proud of them.

"They know I have their back 100 percent. Because we do live in a country that is the land of the free and the home of the brave. I know we spent a lot of time visiting with them, and they understood everything that is going into this evening."

Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long also expressed his support of the women.

"In this country, we value everyone's right to voice their opinions and views," Long said in a news release. "University campuses are places of learning and thus places where differences of opinion and varying perspectives are recognized. We respect the rights of our student-athletes and all individuals to express themselves on important issues in our nation."

In the game, the Razorbacks rode solid defense and rebounding to pull away from Oklahoma Baptist.

Arkansas led 29-17 at halftime, then outscored Oklahoma Baptist 26-4 to start the second half to take a 55-21 lead and kept expanding the advantage to the finish.

Swenson, Jessica Jackson and Bailey Zimmerman each hit three-pointers during the second-half run.

College women’s basketball

Arkansas 79, Oklahoma Baptist 32

Oklahoma Baptist^11^6^6^9^—^32

Arkansas^17^12^26^24^—^79

Oklahoma Baptist: Edge 9, Avina 8, White 7, Graves 4, Williams 2, Custer 2.

Arkansas: Jackson 14, Danberry 14, Monk 13, Mason 10, Freeman 6, Swenson 6, Zimmerman 5, Cooley 5, Willliams 5, Stout 1.

3-point FG — Oklahoma Baptist 2-11 (Edge 1, Avina 1), Arkansas 5-14 (Jackson 2). Assists — Oklahoma Baptist 4 (Graves 3), Arkansas 11 (Mason 4). Steals — Oklahoma Baptist 7 (White 2, Avina 2), Arkansas 12 (Monk, Mason 3). Blocked shots — Oklahoma Baptist 2 (Avina 2), Arkansas 6 (Jackson, Zimmerman, Cooley, Mason, Swenson, Williams 1 each). Turnovers — Oklahoma Baptist (Avina 5), Arkansas 13 (Jackson 3).

Technical Fouls: None. Fouled out: Williams, Arkansas. Officials: Greg Small, Missy Brooks, Nick Marshall. Attendance: 801.

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Four Arkansas players scored 10 or more points, with Jackson and Danberry leading the way with 14 each. Malica Monk added 13, while Mason had 10. Tasha Edge led Oklahoma Baptist with nine points.

Arkansas limited Oklahoma Baptist to 12 points in the middle two quarters, after giving up 11 in the first quarter. Arkansas outrebounded Oklahoma Baptist 55-30, including 23 offensive rebounds. The Lady Bison committed 26 turnovers.

Smith, Ratliff, freshman Aaliyah Wilson and junior Devin Cosper did not play. Wilson and Smith were sidelined by illness, while Cosper and Ratliff are recovering from undisclosed injuries. Dykes said the full team should be back in two or three weeks.

The Razorbacks open the regular season Nov. 11 at 10:30 a.m. against Sam Houston State in Walton Arena.

Sports on 11/04/2016

Print Headline: 6 women players kneel for anthem

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Archived Comments

  • OldRazorback1
    November 4, 2016 at 5:47 a.m.

    I've been a Razorback fan all my long life. I watched the Great Shootout of 69 on the day before I left for Vietnam. Unless these scumbags are kicked off the team (And I know that won't happen), I'll enthusiastically support every team they face. I hope they don't win another game!

  • RaylanGivens
    November 4, 2016 at 6:55 a.m.

    I heard both of their fans are really mad

  • BIGBERLE
    November 4, 2016 at 7:19 a.m.

    Yeah, attendance just went from 25 people per game to 10. Good luck, Jimmy! Might want to dust off that resume'.

  • Snappy
    November 4, 2016 at 7:32 a.m.

    Injustices in our country have NOTHING to do with the National anthem. When are they going to realize that. First their logic is flawed--more African Americans are killed by each other on the streets than anywhere and more Caucasians are killed by policeman than any other race. Second, you live in the "land of the free and the home of the brave" so stand up and support the people that made it that way. This is disgraceful. And you might want to take a page from the playbook of the NFL--their numbers are dropping!! Do you really want to go there!!!!

  • barcoder
    November 4, 2016 at 7:49 a.m.

    In front of a color guard- they're disgraceful and on a free ride to boot. No more support from me.

  • maxrss12070705
    November 4, 2016 at 7:49 a.m.

    Really sad. I am retired Army and it really bothers me that these young people don't understand what's going on in the world. The game of basketball is not a forum for injustices in the world. It's just a game. It will be hard for me to support Jimmy and his team from now on.

  • HenryP
    November 4, 2016 at 7:53 a.m.

    They have the right to kneel and I have the right to never go or watch another women's basketball game. It is too bad when spoiled brats bring politics into sport....

  • roy1234
    November 4, 2016 at 8:03 a.m.

    Another example of POOR, SQUANDERED, MISUSE OF TAXPAYER'S MONEY since the U of A is a State Funded college. The players, kneeling, should be dismissed and their scholarships revoked, PERIOD. Now, after reading the DISGUSTING COMMENTS by Arkansas Coach Jimmy Dykes and Athletic Director Jeff Long, NO DOUBT IT'S TIME FOR A NEW ATHETIC DIRECTOR AND WOMEN'S BASKETBALL COACH, at the taxpayer, STATE funded, college that calls itself the U of A! TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE!

  • swoglesbycoxnet
    November 4, 2016 at 8:04 a.m.

    I will predicate these comments with making the fact known that I am a retired United States Marine Officer, having served 27 in the defense our country, with that said….we need to understand what exactly is that feeling Patriotism that encompasses all of us; Patriotism is an emotional attachment to a nation which an individual recognizes as their homeland. This attachment, can be viewed in terms of different features relating to one's own nation, including ethnic, cultural, political or historical aspects.
    So it is with deep understanding of patriotism, that I applaud these student athletes. Patriotism is not love of country, nor is it blind trust in anything our leaders tell us or do. Patriotism is not simply showing up to vote. Waving the flag can be used as a sign of patriotism, but let’s not fool ourselves by ever believing that waving the flag is nothing more than a sign of patriotism that can easily be bought at your local Walmart.
    Patriotism is engrained in the ideas of the Founding Fathers of this country, and what compelled them to put their lives, fortunes and honor on the line in pursuit of freedom.
    Declaration of Independence…it is all there;….All men are created equal. They are endowed not by government but by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. Premier among those rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Government must be limited to protecting the peace and preserving our liberties, and doing so through the consent of the governed. It’s the right of a free people to rid themselves of a government that becomes destructive of those ends, as our Founding Fathers did in a supreme act of courage and defiance more than two hundred years ago.
    Call it freedom. Call it liberty. Call it whatever you want, but it’s the bedrock on which this nation was founded and from which we stray at our peril. It’s what has defined us as Americans. It makes life worth living, which means it’s worth fighting and dying for.
    These student athletes are expressing the greatest level of “Freedom”, one in which I served this country for more than 27 years to ensure they would be able to express their views. I find it confusing that some on here are more concerned with their expression of protest than they are with the source that has driven them to feel the need for this protest.
    I am sure these student athletes weighed heavily the consequences of their decision….but had the fortitude to know that their freedoms allowed them the platform to express their views…..I personally may not agree with the expression involving kneeling during the National Anthem, but I will certainly defend their “RIGHT” to do so!
    Freedom—understanding it, living it, teaching it, and supporting those who are educating others about its principles. That is what patriotism should mean to each of us today.

  • crnelson
    November 4, 2016 at 8:07 a.m.

    Proud of them for taking a
    knee during the pregame n anthem. Freedom gives everyone a choice. I also applaud Jeff Long n the coach for supporting their right of choice. Change is necessary without it we cannot grow!

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