Colorado Christian Univesity announced on Tuesday that it’s banning its student-athletes from participating in kneeling protests during the national anthem.
A spokesperson from the private, interdenominational Christian liberal arts university told TMZ Sports that “all athletes must stand for the National Anthem and prayer before a game or sporting event.”
According to the Division II school that competes in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, the demonstration by professional athletes in the NFL, MLB, and even U.S. Women’s Soccer team show “disrespect towards our country.”
Jeff Hunt, who runs the CCU Centennial Institute, in a statement said he’s “proud that CCU will not take part in these disrespectful protests.”
“Unfortunately, refusing to stand during the National Anthem dilutes the message of the protestors and portrays disrespect towards our country, all who are serving it, and our veterans.”
In a statement released by CCU President Donald Sweeting, however, he clarified that this is not a new position for the school and that they’ve “always required our student-athletes and coaches to stand respectfully for any pre-game or post-game prayers, as well as for the national anthem.”
“We ask students to stand out of respect for God, for our nation, and for those who are serving it or have served it. Students are not required to sing the anthem or to pray, nor do we threaten them with this policy. It has been a non-controversial community standard for decades, through many different eras and administrations,” Sweeting continued. “The University does not believe that our athletic events are the appropriate venue to conduct political or social protests.”
CCU has not yet explained how they will deal with student-athletes who kneel during the national anthem.