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Ahead of Friday night’s Final Four matchup against Louisville, South Carolina’s women’s basketball team opted to stay inside their locker room as the national anthem played ahead of the matchup.
Louisville was present for the anthem. Meanwhile, South Carolina and coach Dawn Staley claim that their decision to sit out the national anthem both at home and away games this season has become their ideal messaging to counter racial discrimination assumed of their nation.
Staley told Andscape‘s Sean Hurd that her team’s directive to stay in the locker room tackles inequalities that the team sees within college basketball.
“[O]pposing teams choose to play the anthem during the time we’re in the locker room, then we choose to stay in the locker room,” Staley told Hurd.
The nation’s top-ranked team in South Carolina went on to defeat Louisville and advance to the championship game. Gamecocks forward Aliyah Boston led all scorers with 23 points; set to face off against second-seeded UCONN for the NCAA tourney title on Sunday.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela