Vanderbilt Women’s Basketball Will Remain In The Locker Room For The National Anthem All Season

Vanderbilt women’s basketball is planning to stay in the locker room this season during the playing of our national anthem. They left a message on Twitter to help explain the logic behind their decision, but it’s likely to land poorly. If Vanderbilt or any other program wants to promote change the way they claim, they should do what they’re preaching at us to do: Invest their own money and time.

“We want to set the example, and we have made a commitment to be the change we want to see in the world,” the message says.

These student athletes likely believe they’re making change, but they’re actually asking others to do the hard work while they tweet and hang out in the locker room. This move isn’t courageous or even remotely empowering for our struggling youth. Pouting in the locker room does nothing but teach our under-served communities that they should follow this poor example. Tweets and t-shirts didn’t get anything done.

What if Vanderbilt’s women’s basketball team decided they would publicly volunteer the way they asked us to do in their message? Maybe that’s why Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. marched down Washington himself, instead of pleading for us to do something. If Vanderbilt’s women’s basketball team wants to be leaders, then lead by example. Opting to hang out in the locker room for an extra five minutes and missing our national anthem isn’t changing the world. It’s divisive and lazy.

Is this another Colin Kapernick move?

Unfortunately for our community, this is just another gesture that makes programs famous the way it made Kaepernick relevant. We can argue for or against Kap having a point, but we can’t debate that his national anthem stunt failed. Vanderbilt women’s basketball will argue they’re kneeling for the same reasons Kap knelt. They both desperately want others to make the changes they see fit. Also notable that this is the second woke move from Vanderbilt’s program the last three weeks.

Maybe it’s time for our athletes and celebrities to quit begging and start doing the heavy lifting themeless. Fixing some of the injustices we see in our country is going to be hard work that requires far less tweeting and t-shirt designing and far more effort and personal sacrifice. Hopefully we see fewer gestures down the road, and we can start getting more real work done.

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr


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  1. 1. People, please stop wearing masks in your avatars. Your COVID / bad breath / whatever isn’t contagious through monitors.

    2. Year 6 of anthem controversies. I’m sure MLK would’ve loved to extract change through endless kneeling / nothingness. It don’t work like that. DO SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE FOR YOUR CAUSES. These stunts have become an SJW porn version of a hunger strike.

    3. “Maybe it’s time for our athletes and celebrities to quit begging and start doing the heavy lifting themselves. Fixing some of the injustices we see in our country is going to be hard work that requires far less tweeting and t-shirt designing and far more effort and personal sacrifice. Hopefully we see fewer gestures down the road, and we can start getting more real work done.” – Gary


  2. This has been going on so long now I’m not sure anyone remembers why it started, but people also forget how quickly sentiments shifted to what they’ve become. There was a time in 2016, before TDS killed public discourse, you could read things like this about Kaepernick’s kneeling act.

    “I think it’s dumb and disrespectful. I would have the same answer if you asked me about flag burning. I think it’s a terrible thing to do, but I wouldn’t lock a person up for doing it. I would point out how ridiculous it seems to me to do such an act.” Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    You say such a rational thing now – you’ll be burnt in effigy by Twitter trolls, and be apologizing in front of news cameras before dinner time the same day.

  3. They actually say that they are staying in the locker room “to mourn”….. The National Anthem is ~ 2 minutes long. They can’t find another 2 minutes in their day to “mourn”? Really?

    You stand for the flag and anthem for what is GREAT and AWESOME in the USA.

  4. Well, nobody will be at their games, and nobody will be watching if the games are even on TV, so this meaningless gesture should largely go unnoticed. This is the proverbial “if a tree falls in the woods”….

  5. Sorry guys. I’m as patriotic as the next guy but I’m not giving up my Vanderbilt women’s basketball season tickets. Plus, as a member of the Vanderbilt women’s basketball booster club , I’ve volunteered to work the snack bar at a couple of the home games. Until you’ve been inside Vanderbilt’s gym for a women’s basketball game and felt the electricity, heard the sound of crisp chest passes and seen these girls pull up for a set shot from 16 feet, I’d ask politely that you not judge me.

  6. I’m sure if the Vandy women’s team played an exhibition game in China they would stand for that communist regime’s anthem (as the NBA does). No civil rights violations there, just ask the Uighurs and Tibetans.

  7. Please protest young black men who can’t park their ass where they park there pud. Please protest black men murdering men and women of color. Please protest those who lack discipline lack basic human values lack the idea of staying with the women you impregnate and valuing education, faith in god and coaching your babies and children thru life. Otherwise you look fucking ridiculous.

  8. And no one even saw it happen or cared. 1. It’s women’s basketball; 2. Vandy isn’t one of the 3 teams that anyone even knows plays basketball; and 3. like Gary wrote, please put some action behind your “protest”.

  9. Damnit! I guess from here on out I’ll never watch another Vanderbilt Commodores women’s basketball game! Sad to see such a great sport being hijacked by social justice warriors. I guess me ad the other 11 fans and player parents will have to tune to something else.

  10. I think I’ll take Clay’s data driven approach to this story. The team posted a 4-12 conference record in 2019-2020. They were 2-14 the year prior to that. There have been in excess of 700 murders in Chicago so far this year with the large majority of victims being African-American males. It costs around 70k per year to attend Vandy. Maybe it’s time to forego basketball and perhaps free up some tuition/ scholarship money for others and have the team take their awareness campaign on the road to the Windy City.

    Remember, having awareness is great because you don’t actually have to do anything.

  11. at some point men need to wake up. most schools only have female sports because of mens sports.

    maybe its time to break all sports up into mens and womens sports based on popularity … ??

    example: nobody watches mens gymnastics or ice dancng. girls can have those exclusively.

    example 2: field hockey (all girl)

    example tre: wrestling (boys 🤙🏽)

    and so on …

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