Before the volleyball players of Florida State University took on the players of Florida University on Sept. 14, one player joined the long list of athletes who have chosen to kneel during the playing of the national anthem.
FSU volleyball player Mara Green is the latest athlete to participate in the silent form of protest, reported the Tallahassee Democrat.
“I am unhappy with the racial tension, racial injustice, and police brutality in our country,” Green read from a statement on Wednesday. “This is my way of silently and peacefully protesting.”
Head coach Chris Poole backed Mara’s decision to not stand.
“Mara (Green) made me aware of her intention to kneel for the national anthem,” he said. “Florida State University is an institution of higher learning that recognizes a student’s right to freedom of expression. Similarly, I respect Mara’s right to freely express herself.”
The redshirt senior middle blocker comes from a military family who don’t perceive her actions as disrespectful to those in the service. San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick—who jumpstarted the protest—has stated similar points as well.
“The media painted this as I’m anti-American, anti-men-and-women of the military, and that’s not the case at all,” Kaepernick told reporters after the preseason finale game against the San Diego Chargers.
“I realize that men and women of the military go out and sacrifice their lives and put their selves in harm’s way for my freedom of speech and my freedoms in this country, and my freedom to take a seat or take a knee, so I have the utmost respect for them and I think what I did was taken out of context and spun a different way,” he said.
Green’s stance generated some mixed reactions on Twitter.
@JordanCulver For whatever it’s worth, I support Mara Green and respect her protest against racial injustice.
— FSU Pete G (@stpete2you) September 15, 2016
— ➳➳Francois➳➳ (@crystnadior) September 14, 2016
— Matt Bee (@matt_borkowski) September 14, 2016