Sue Bird, WNBA colleagues to stay on court for anthem at Olympics: ‘I don’t feel like a hypocrite in any way’

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Sue Chicken and the remainder of the WNBA have been on the forefront of social justice protests and in the course of the 2021 season, most gamers have left the courtroom earlier than the nationwide anthem has performed.

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Chicken and Group USA haven’t any plans to depart the courtroom for the nationwide anthem throughout Olympic competitions this coming week and the Seattle Storm legend sees no contradiction in it.

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“You might be carrying USA jerseys, and it does change the dialog somewhat bit and what you are representing,” Chicken advised the Related Press on Saturday. “With that, I do not really feel like a hypocrite in any manner. Everybody is aware of the place we stand. I do not suppose it contradicts something since we’re really doing the work.”

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Chicken and her fellow Olympic teammates have proven unity by their exhibition matches by locking arms earlier than tip-off. Chicken was additionally the U.S. flag bearer in the course of the parade of countries on the opening ceremony in Tokyo.

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She stated she believes folks know the place their stance is on social justice points.

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“All of us need our nation to be a greater place, and that is what that is about,” Chicken added. “That is an athlete’s mentality, and there is actually no higher folks to try this than athletes. What can we do each single day? What can we speak about? Getting higher. … I feel we should always strategy our nation that manner.”

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Political gestures are allowed earlier than official competitions start however barred on the medal stands and through occasions. The U.S. girls’s soccer workforce knelt earlier within the week earlier than their match in opposition to Sweden.

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The anthem is performed proper earlier than the beginning of basketball video games, which might make it tough usually for gamers to depart the courtroom.

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The Related Press contributed to this report.

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