Kermit Davis Says Ole Miss Basketball Will Respect Flag, National Anthem

Middle Tennessee head coach Kermit Davis watches from the sideline in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against UAB Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Middle Tennessee won 79-54. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

At his introductory press conference on Monday, Mississippi head basketball coach Kermit Davis said his team won’t participate in protests during the national anthem.

Per Rob Dauster of NBC Sports, Davis had this response when asked about how he was going to run his program:

“What is Ole Miss Basketball going to look like? It’s going to be relentless, athletic, explosive, a team that’s going to have to play on and on and on to beat. It’s going to be a team that’s going to be unselfish. We’re going to play fast and smart in transition. We’re going to try to get easy baskets. We’re going to try to play with great body language. We’re going to be a respectful team that respects the flag and the National Anthem. All those things from culture is what we’re about. It’s who we’re going to be.”

While players taking a knee during the national anthem was a frequent topic of discussion in the NFL, it wasn’t common practice in college basketball. 

The most high-profile kneeling in college basketball involved nearly half of the Vanderbilt women’s team during an Oct. 29 exhibition against Marian University.

The College of Coastal Georgia, which plays in the NAIA, also had men’s and women’s basketball players kneel during the national anthem. One member of the school’s board of trustees resigned in November to protest the players’ choice.

Davis was hired by Ole Miss to take over the program after Andy Kennedy resigned in February. The 58-year-old has spent the past 16 seasons at Middle Tennessee where he led the Blue Raiders to three NCAA tournament appearances, including an upset of No. 2 Michigan State in 2016.