A national light is being shined on a women’s basketball player for the University of Wisconsin who is choosing to take a seat on the bench when the National Anthem plays.
The Chicago Tribune profiled Marsha Howard, a senior forward from Chicago, who is sitting during the anthem.
“If this can make a change, I’ll be part of it,” she told the Tribune’s Shannon Ryan about the move following in the footsteps of Milwaukee native Colin Kaepernick, who has not played an NFL game after being let go by the San Francisco 49ers following his protests during the anthem.
“I never really thought about the negative backlash. I’m going to live in my truth. I’m going to speak up about things that are harming my culture and my people. I was OK with living in that light.”
Howard’s move to sit on the bench is a change from past methods of protest, standing with African-American teammates with locked arms behind other teammates or waiting in the tunnel during the anthem.
Her sitting protest during a game at Iowa in the 2017-18 season led to a protest from one of that state’s senators, Chuck Grassley.
Iowa constituents asked me why a starter for Wisconsin women Bb wld not be patriotic enuf to stand for natl anthem song today /ASK THE WISCONSIN COACH/ Exprress outrage to university
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) February 19, 2018
“Right after he made that tweet, I got 10 other good (tweets),” Howard told the Tribune.
“I’m still getting more and more love and support from other outsiders. The positive far outweighs the negative.”
Read the Tribune article here.