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Kent State Basketball Stands With Fans for National Anthem in Unifying Moment

Kent State isn’t favored to make the Final Four this season, but you can bet they’ve already made some memories for a great year.

Players from the Golden Flashes invited fans to stand with them on the court during the national anthem prior to Wednesday’s home game against Mississippi Valley State. Each player asked a fan of a different race or gender to stand by their side as the song played.

It was a bold and powerful move in a year in which several athletes have protested by kneeling or holding their fists up during the song — as well a year in which the unlikeliest of people stood.

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Players are the ones who came up with the idea.

“We understand all of the issues going on in our world,” said sophomore point guard Jalen Avery. “In these times, we felt it was important to show a sign of unity in our community.”

The team plans to continue standing with fans during the anthem before each game for the remainder of the season.

Kent State coach Rob Senderoff was impressed by his team. “My first reaction was, ‘What a statement for them to make,'” he said. “For a bunch of 18- to 22-year-olds to come up with this is incredibly mature.”

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