UCLA links: Jim Mora on the protests in the NFL

UCLA Bruins head coach Jim Mora walks back toward the lock room at half time during a NCAA college football game against the Texas A&M Aggies at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

College football players remain in the locker room until the coin toss, shielding UCLA from the same controversy swallowing NFL players who kneel during the national anthem as a way to protest racial injustice.

Head coach Jim Mora was asked about the issue Monday during his weekly press conference, specifically whether he has discussed it with his team or if the players have approached him about possibly doing something during games. Here’s what he said, in full:

“No one’s mentioned anything to me and I haven’t heard much talk about it. It’s not really on our radar right now. We’re in the locker room and I’m sure everybody has their own opinion and their own take on it and I think it’s important to respect everybody’s opinion and everybody’s take and we try to do that at UCLA in a very educational way. We’re all about freedom of speech and freedom of expression but we’re also about respecting our country and respecting our military.

“My personal opinion is that kneeling when they’re playing the national anthem doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re being disrespectful to the flag nor to the military. I think that people find ways to make statements. That’s what this country is about and has always been about and I think we have to respect each other. I know that our young men, if they were given that opportunity, would be very respectful.”

Members of the UCLA women’s soccer team took a knee during the national anthem prior to a game against Oregon State on Oct. 1. Head coach Amanda Cromwell told Pac-12 Networks after the game that the team met, decided to kneel prior to the anthem together and allow some players to continue kneeling if they chose.

“It’s about supporting the cause of racial justice and equality in the world,” Cromwell said.

The UCLA women’s soccer team has two coaches who served in the U.S. military: associate head coach Joshua S. Walters, Sr., who served 12 months as a First Lieutenant with Brigade S2 (Military Intelligence) of the Florida National Guard during Operation Enduring Freedom V in Bagram, Afghanistan, and assistant coach Jenny Bindon, who served in the U.S. Coast Guard.

“It’s an honor to coach this team and have these conversations because they’re really important to have,” Cromwell told Pac-12 Networks.

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  • jameskatt

    Kneeling means America still has a job to do.
    And it would be great if it became totally correct to kneel before the flag as an alternative sign of respect just as kneeling before God.

    • j metaphor

      I respect and support freedom of speech and expression (except for that obnoxious song SoCal plays after every stinking first down) and am proud my University and their coaches respect that right of speech and expression of diverse opinions.
      P.S. to JK
      Kneeling before which god?

  • max

    I’m proud of UCLA and it’s coaches supporting freedom of expression, especially in an educational context. Go Bruins!

  • UCLA Dynasty

    Checking the Beavers recruiting commitments..Not much there, maybe a DE.

    • j metaphor

      Perfect place for Sarkisian to step back in.

  • Speaking of education, those protesting need some:

    The American flag is the banner which ended slavery and Segregation. It is the flag of “all men are created equal,” under which America’s sons (and daughters) have risked and given life and limb for the lives and freedoms of others, including hundreds of millions of complete strangers in both Europe and Asia.

    If you want to protest injustice in America, then protest the Democrats’ Confederate flag, the colors which went to war in defense of slavery and racial hatred. To the Democrats belong the Trail of Tears (Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren) and the Indian Removal Act (Jackson), the Mexican-American War (James K. Polk), the Civil War and the deaths of more than half a million Americans, the assassination of President Lincoln, the KKK (the Democrats’ terrorist arm), the resegregation of the federal government (Woodrow Wilson), the internment of Americans (FDR), the slaughter of tens of millions of innocents, the mainstreaming of Islamic anti-Semitism, and the green-lighting of Iran’s nuclear genocide program.

    Those who protest how evil America is either don’t know their history, or they don’t want the rest of us to know.

    • JustOwns

      LOL Sandi. You’re just a typical whiny, republican F**K News drone puking debatable 19th century history in the 21st century.

      I did not know JWB was a “Democrat.”

      Sandi, kindly remind me of your national heritage and I’m sure I could, with little effort, tar and feather your ancestors with ugly heathen history.

      • I did not know

        That’s an oddly emotional reaction to statements of fact; ad hominem, profanity, guilt by association, bodily functions, and a chronological red herring are poor substitutes for facts, Owns.

        John Wilkes Booth was a Confederate sympathizer; Abraham Lincoln the first Republican president. (The Republican Party was created to end slavery.)

        The American Declaration of Independence states plainly that “all men are created equal”; Jefferson’s draft of which puts the lie to the idea that he meant only men of a certain hue:

        He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobium of INFIDEL Powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

        That’s what Old Glory stands for.

        On the other hand, the Democrats’ Confederate flag stood for just the opposite. Here is your vice president Alexander Stephens boasting about your party’s achievements:

        Those [Founding] ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the “storm came
        and the wind blew.”

        Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its
        foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

        A political party is not a genetic (ancestral) affiliation. Why are you confusing the two?

        As for my national heritage? I’m an American.

        • JustOwns

          Sandi Babi, You are one large F****d up POS.

          Now before you ramble off another pedantic monologue, please note the latter sentence is precisely profane, pejorative, and scatological by design; so skip your third grade enquish review.

          I need some historical reference that proves JWB was a registered democrat, because your foaming mouth accusation sound like it was adapted from a how to KKK manual.

          Nobody has accused you of not being an American, but unless you’re an actual American Indian, your ancestors had to arrive in the US from elsewhere.

          Kindly Sandi Babi, where might your ancestors hail from.

          • Test.

          • enquish

            More profane nescience, Owns? The best that you’ve got to offer is name-calling and excretion?

            Facts are “boring” and “pedantic” only to the craven and the mendacious. Thanks for proving my point.

            John Wilkes Booth was a Know Nothing in name only; he was a pro-slavery Confederate sympathizer who hated and murdered the anti-slavery Republican Abraham Lincoln.

            (A Know Nothing aligned with the Democrats. Sound familiar?)

            As for your hooded friends, those are the Democrats’ spawn; don’t try to pin your party’s white sheets on me.

            And everyone’s ancestors arrived from elsewhere. Why are you still trying to conflate political belief with genetics?

            I understand that discovering that your worldview is founded on lies can be a little unsettling.

            The honest man adjusts his thinking to fit the facts.

    • Richard

      You’re so sick !
      In your sc meth fueled rage you’ve missed the point again.

      If you are a patriot u don’t accept a meeting w/ a foreign enemy’s intelligence operatives who want to subvert democracy nor do u fly to Indy on the taxpayer’s dime to stage a pyrrhic walk out condemnation of free speech when you could be in Charlottesville condemning free speech as exercised by NAZIS.

      if you’re a patriot u condemn the Georgia PD and their sergeant who comforted non black motorists by telling them “we only kill black people” during traffic stops.

      • you’ve missed the point again

        That’s ironic. You appear to be referring to Trump and Pence. Where did I say anything about either?

  • Fish

    Get a clue JLM. Kneeling during the national anthem is offensive to the military, their families and many, many other proud Americans. Similar to a racist joke, just because you believe its not disrespectful, or there was not any intent to be disrespectful, doesn’t mean its not offensive to others. The NFL has finally recognized today that they need to put a rule in place to stop offending members of their fanbase, which an employer has the legal right to do. Most of the other sports bodies have a rule in place. Its a disgrace that the NFL has waited over a year when this problem first went public. There are plenty of other more productive ways to help your cause than to offend people. Maybe these great people at UCLA you refer to, other than the girls soccer team and the sociology department, can figure out a better, more appropriate way.

    • When a race-based terrorist murdered Dallas police officers, the Cowboys wanted to wear a small tribute to the officers. They were denied.

      That’s quite a double standard.