From the Springfield Student:

I looked around Blake Arena during the National Anthem on December 8. Our men’s basketball team faced Williams College. Spectators were focused on the visitor’s bench.

I followed their stares and I saw Williams senior forward, Kyle Scadlock, kneeling during the National Anthem. One of his teammates stood behind him with his hand on his shoulder.

I had never witnessed someone kneeling. I was shocked and unsure what was going to happen.

Will he start? Will they make a big deal out of Scadlock’s beliefs? Is there someone in the stands who is angered enough to lash out?

Scadlock started and played a total of 32 minutes.

I am writing this in admiration of his strength.


1) Are there any other Williams athletes who kneel during the National Anthem? The Record should write a story.

2) Speaking of Record, how pathetic is it that they would write a long (and good) story about Scadlock without mentioning this? Was that incompetence or something else?

3) I have never seen a reference to Scadlock kneeling in any Williams publication. Has there been one? Not sure what the best policy for the College would be on that score.

“I became very angered about how people were responding to [Kaepernick’s] kneeling, primarily the coded language and the underlying message which disapproved of the issues [Kaepernick] was kneeling for,” Scadlock said.

After following all the media coverage and interviews he gave the first year he started to kneel, Scadlock became angered by how people were responding to Kaepernick’s decision. After watching him get black balled out of the league by NFL owners, Scadlock was inspired to kneel, too.

Watching Kaepernick take a knee, make various donations, as well as what he advocated for, also inspired Scadlock to learn more about how capitalism, systemic racism, and oppression affect African Americans and all people of color in the United States.

“The police brutality that is done onto black bodies is one of the many issues black people deal with every day, and as kneeling became a symbol for acknowledging and resisting these issues, I actually just started to feel more and more uncomfortable standing for the anthem,” Scadlock said. “Like [Kaepernick], I no longer felt like I could stand and take pride in being a part of a country that has these issues and to kneel was to at least address their existence.”

Good news! There are 200 or so other countries in this great world of ours. Perhaps Scadlock will be moving to one of them after graduation. If he thinks that America treats blacks unfairly, wait until he visits Mexico, Honduras, Brazil, Japan and so on.

Where does Scadlock get this nonsense about “black bodies?” There is nothing wrong with Scadlock taking a few Africana Studies courses at Williams and receiving the Joy James view of the world. The problem arises when no one at Williams dares to challenge him, no one takes the trouble — and runs the risk, c.f. Dean Dave’s demotion — to show Scadlock the other side of the story.

Scadlock and Williams College men’s basketball head coach, Kevin App, have a great relationship, so when he made up his mind that he was going to begin kneeling, he wanted to let him know ahead of time in case people saw it at a game and began speculating. Scadlock thought it was important to make sure they were on the same page and explained to him why he was making the decision.

“I think the aspect of the discussion and further action is more important than just kneeling,” Scadlock said. “Some people have the privilege of being able to ignore these issues while black people have to deal with them every day.”

Ahh, yes. Every day. The virulent racism of Williams College weighs down on poor Kyle Scadlock every damn day. I blame Maud Mandel . . .

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