Kansas volleyball kneels united

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Moments before Kansas volleyball started the second half of its 2016 schedule against Baylor on Saturday, the Jayhawks paused and kneeled – as one team – to reflect on social injustice in today’s culture.

The kneeling moment of reflection was before the anthem. The entire team continued its practice of honoring the United States and her servicemen and servicewomen by standing as one for the national anthem.

Below is a statement from the team which was read to those in attendance at Horejsi Family Athletics Center before the moment of reflection:

Kansas Volleyball prides itself in its ability to be inclusive, tolerant and compassionate. We feel our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Though we don’t always agree on every subject, we stand united against any form of social injustice. We want our love, compassion and tolerance of each other to be an example that the rest of our country can emulate. Please join KU Volleyball in a moment of reflection so each of us may contemplate how we can create a more just, respectful and inclusive nation, where everyone has the opportunity to become the best version of themselves.

After Kansas defeated Baylor, improving to 6-0 at home, head coach Ray Bechard addressed pre-match gesture with members of the media:

“It’s been something our team has had a lot of dialogue about. Our team is as diverse as any volleyball team in the country. We all come from different backgrounds, but we still know what it’s like to treat each other the right way — be compassionate, be tolerant of views. The team thought — what a great message to send. They did not want to disrespect the (national) anthem in any way, shape or form, so that is why they chose the timing of it. They all said, we all love our country and love our flag but is there some way we can challenge everybody in the gym today just to be a little better when it comes to decisions we make about other people and how we treat each other. Each of them will have an individual action plan that they can carry out to improve the Lawrence community moving forward.”

#kuvball knelt down as a team for a moment of reflection on social injustice, then stood for our national anthem #OneTeam pic.twitter.com/KvH8Affp75

— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) October 1, 2016

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