Earlier this week, Zach published a very interesting piece on why coaches have emerged as America'strue leaders in National Anthem protests, and this morning Old Dominion head coach Bobby Wilder appeared on SportsCenter to talk about his unique approach during the national anthem.
Late last week, Wilder met with his team captains and they came to the decision that they would join hands with coaches and their teammates in a circle before the game against UTSA in response to the latest shootings in Charlotte. Wilder called the gesture the "circle of unity" and it has made national waves in the week since. The Saints and Falcons even did something similar a few days later during Monday Night Football.
This weekend, Wilder and ODU will be joined in the circle of unity by their opponent and Charlotte head coach Brad Lambert.
"This is gaining momentum," Wilder says proudly during the interview. "We respect everyone's freedom of speech, but let's start donig things to unify the country rather than add to the noise."
Wilder also issued a warning to fellow coaches during the interview:
"When I listen to our players, they want their voices heard, and they feel right now like the adults, the politcians, the people that make policy, are not hearing them."
"This is a shoutout to college coaches all over the country, you'd better get in your locker room and meeting rooms with your players and you better listen to them. Take your attention a little bit away from your third down defense, and your red zone offense right now and open your ears, listen to your players, and respond to what they're feeling because they need to channel what they're feeling right now. They cannot have that suppressed."
"I made it very clear - if I suppressed their ability to express themselves, then I am part of the problem, I'm not part of the solution and there are too many people right now that are not listening to our young people. They have a powerful voice, and they need to be heard."
Check out the full interview in the video, courtesy of Harry Minium of The Virginia-Pilot. Head over to
— Bobby Wilder (@ODUCoachWilder) September 28, 2016
" target="_blank">Wilder's Twitter account for more on the movement, including they're promoting it with #WALT.