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Writer expresses dismay at ETSU basketball team

To the Editor:
I am an ETSU graduate, Vietnam War veteran, and retired Veterans Administration employee with 38 years of service.
I am sickened by the recent ETSU basketball and coaching staff and their actions at recent games.
The letter endorsed by our Republican senators asking Tennessee’s public universities to adopt policies prohibiting student athletes from kneeling during the national anthem is inappropriate.
The actions of these players and the complicity of their coaches and ETSU president is shameful and cowardly. This is not a constructive approach to solve their perceived racial inequalities or injustices.
ETSU President Brian Noland’s duplicitous statements about the protest being an “opportunity” is just nonsense and politically correct verbiage. Coach Jason Shay’s defense statement — “not intended to disrespect the U.S. flag and country’s veterans” is akin to a delinquent child saying that he “didn’t intend to poke his brother’s eye out with that pencil.”
The front page article and “The Way We See It” editorial in the Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2021 Johnson City Press shows the “true color,” bias and lack of objectivity by their editorial staff.
Suggested corrective actions include (1) defunding the basketball program; (2) give Coach Shay an opportunity to find another job; (3) basketball players involved in this exercise of disrespect must relinquish their scholarships; (4) make mandatory reading for all student athletes and coaching staff “The Animal Farm” by George Orwell; and (5) establish school policy that bans protest of this disrespectful and hurtful nature.

Robert Potter
Johnson City