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Posted by Sadie from D007170.N1.Vanderbilt.Edu ( on Saturday, March 01, 2003 at 1:27PM :

In Reply to: One helluva brave young lady! posted by Sadie from D007170.N1.Vanderbilt.Edu ( on Saturday, March 01, 2003 at 1:21PM :

Can you imagine what it must be like for her? They are all so courageous! : ) This is an excerpt from another article about her (actually I don't like the author's opinion in the article, so I just copied the parts that were interesting & pasted them here).
A Vietnam veteran came onto the court Sunday (2/23) and held an American flag in front of Manhattanville senior forward Toni Smith after the Division III player again refused to face the flag during the national anthem.

As she has done all season, Smith turned 90 degrees away from the flag as the anthem was played prior to tipoff. Six of her teammates stood at attention with their hands on their chests, while three other teammates stood with their heads bowed and their arms at their sides.

The sociology major previously released a 250-word statement outlining the reasons for her protest, citing "the inequalities that are embedded into the American system" and "the war America will soon be entering."

Her protest is similar to one employed by NBA guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf formerly known as Chris Jackson of the Denver Nuggets during the 1995-96 season, which led to an indefinite suspension that was lifted two days later.

Athletes have periodically made political statements, from the black power salute of John Carlos and Tommy Smith at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics to Muhammad Ali's refusal to serve in the U.S. military during the Vietnam War.

Earlier this month, Dallas Mavericks guard Steve Nash of Canada wore an anti-war T-shirt to his interview session at the NBA's All-Star weekend.

Smith's protests have drawn national attention to the small liberal arts school in the suburbs north of New York, a school of 1,400 students.

School president Richard Berman has been supportive of Smith's right to express her opinion, regardless of whether he or anyone else agrees or disagrees with her views.

Before Thursday's game at Mount St. Mary, the student government handed out small flags before the game. More than 500 people filled the small gym, jeered Smith at every opportunity and sang "God Bless America" at the end of the game.

When Manhattanville played at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy on Feb. 11, more than 300 flag-waving midshipmen greeted Smith with chants of "USA" and "Leave our country."

-- Sadie
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