Ole Miss men’s basketball coach Kermit Davis wasted little time in setting his expectations for the Rebels, both during their games and before them.
During Davis’ introductory press conference Tuesday, Davis detailed his new team’s identity going forward. He discussed a number of qualities among his expectations, including how his team will act during the national anthem.
“What is Ole Miss basketball going to look like? It’s going to be relentless, athletic, explosive, a team that’s going to have to play on and on and on to beat,” Davis said. “It’s going to be a team that’s going to be unselfish. We’re going to play fast and smart in transition. We’re going to try to get easy baskets. We’re going to try to play with great body language.
“We’re going to be a respectful team that respects the flag and the national anthem. All those things from culture is what we’re about. It’s who we’re going to be.”
Davis, who Ole Miss hired from Middle Tennessee State, was referring to the protests that occurred during the playing of the national anthem at NFL games the past two seasons. The unprompted statement from Davis was unexpected given no Ole Miss players nor college basketball players in general have knelt during the national anthem.
Davis isn’t the only sports figure to publicly decry any demonstrations from his team during the national anthem. Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said his team would stand for the anthem but later reversed course after controversy ensued. NASCAR team owners Richard Petty and Richard Childress said anyone on their teams who would not stand during the anthem would be fired.