- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 9, 2016

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) - The chancellor of the University of Arkansas said the school is developing an educational series on social issues for the campus as a result of six women’s basketball players who recently kneeled during the nation anthem.

Chancellor Joe Steinmetz said the perspective of veterans and the meaning of the American flag should be considered along with the social concerns raised by the student-athletes. Steinmetz discussed the university’s plans at an event Tuesday for first-generation college students enrolled in the UA’s Honor College, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/2ffcjI0 ) reported.

The chancellor has said he supports the players, citing the importance of freedom of speech. Basketball coach Jimmy Dykes and athletic director Jeff Long have also issued statements of support for the players.

The basketball players’ protest comes at a time where collegiate and professional athletes nationwide are kneeling during the national anthem, to show concern about police killings of the black community among other minorities.

Steinmetz said he believes in education and dialogue, adding his communication with state lawmakers has “been along those lines.” The communication he referred to relates to some lawmakers that have expressed criticism on the university’s response to the protest.

The chancellor said the protest was not meant to disrespect veterans, “but rather to simply raise awareness of an important issue of concern in our communities.”

The educational series will touch on a variety of social issues, with the first expected to take place in the spring semester.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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