Nebraska regent wants to boot players not standing for anthem

While not everyone agrees with the form of the protests a growing group of football players have undertaken across the country over the past month, most have agreed they have a right express their opinions.

A member of the University of Nebraska board of regents does not seem to fall into the latter group. At least if the players want to remain on the team and on scholarship.

"It's a free country," NU regent Hal Daub told the Lincoln Journal-Star. "They don't have to play football for the university either."

Daub, military veteran, also called Michael Rose-Ivey, DaiShon Neal and Mohamed Barry “publicity seeking athletes” who “won’t take the risk to exhibit their free speech in a way that places their circumstance in jeopardy, so let them get out of uniform and do their protesting on somebody else’s nickel.”

Rose-Ivey, Neal and Barry kneeled during the national anthem prior to Nebraska’s win at Northwestern on Saturday night.

Rose-Ivey subsequently explained why the players made the gesture and told reporters of some nasty responses he had received for doing so. He also said the majority of the feedback was positive.

To his credit, university president Hank Bounds responded with a lengthy statement Wednesday defending the rights to free speech for all involved.

“I have served in the military,” Bounds statement said. “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.’”

The undefeated Cornhuskers host Illinois on Saturday afternoon in Lincoln.

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