The sports director and basketball coach of the University of Mississippi support the decision made by some team players to take a knee before Saturday's game.
"They see what's happening on our campus and these people who come here are spreading hatred, fanaticism and racism. We do not want them on our campus, "said Ross Bjork, director of university sports, at the Daily Mississippian.
The players said the event responded to two rallies in favor of Confederation on the school campus at the same time as the match was taking place this afternoon.
After the game, the head coach of the first year team said he was unaware that the players intended to demonstrate at the national anthem, but he supported the move.
"All of this was about the hate groups that came into our community to try to spread racism and fanaticism," Davis said. "This has created a lot of tension on our campus, and our players have made the emotional decision to show these people that they are not welcome on our campus and we respect the freedom and ability of our players to choose this. . "
The players who knelt during the anthem were KJ Buffen, D.C. Davis, Brian Halums, Luis Rodriguez, Devontae Shuler, Bruce Stevens, Franco Miller Jr. and Breein Tyree.
"In the majority of cases, we saw one of our teammates do it and we just did not want him to be alone," Tyree told reporters after the match.
Campus police reported no cases of violence between Confederation protesters and Saturday demonstrators on campus. The group dispersed during the second half of the match, according to ESPN.
"Ole Miss", as we informally call it, has a complicated history with interracial relations and what we call the "heritage of the South".
The official nickname of the school's teams are the Rebels and in 2016, the university dropped "Dixie" – a Confederate War Hymn – as his fighting sing for home games.
Kneeling during the National Anthem has become the most popular form of protest for professional athletes since Colin Kaepernick first took a knee in protest of racial inequality in America two years ago.
[[[[Opinion: NFL players kneeling: the point of view of a stranger]