Mark Fox reflects on Kaepernick, how Bulldogs will handle national anthem


Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox used to coach at Nevada, when he got to know a backup quarterback on that school’s football team named Colin Kaepernick.

So over the past year, as the Kaepernick story unfolded, reaching a crescendo this past weekend, Fox has been paying attention.

“It’s been interesting. Because I knew Colin before he was even a starting college quarterback,” Fox said. “And so I’ve kept my eye on it, and obviously it’s become a very national story. And obviously we all want our country to be better. We want our country to be better. So there’s a lot of ways to do it. But it certainly has become a lightning rod.”

Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem last year, seeking to protest police mistreatment, among other things, became a national story. While he’s now unsigned, other NFL players eventually followed his lead, and then when President Donald Trump ripped into them last Friday night, it led to even more players taking a knee for the anthem. How every team handled it became closely watched. 

That wasn’t really an issue in college football, however. Most teams, including Georgia and those in the SEC, are in the locker room for the national anthem, as Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart pointed out when asked about it Monday.

“Yeah, with our team we have a leadership committee that we formed and we meet with them regularly. It's a topic that comes up,” Smart said. “Came up last year. We talked to them about it. Haven't talked to them about it much this year. We let those guys bring it up and talk about things when they need to and address it as a team, but that's not one that's come up regularly. Of course, we're not out there during the national anthem anyway.”

But in basketball it could be an issue, as teams are present for the national anthem. Fox and his players plan to discuss the issue at some point between now and the season.

“I’m sure we’ll have chances to talk with our team as we get closer to our season,” Fox said.

Georgia senior forward Yante Maten said he had “definitely noticed” the national controversy.

“I’m aware of it. Like everyone should be,” Maten said. “We haven’t collectively come as a team and talked about it, but coach Fox said we would.”

Asked if he had any strong feelings about it he’d like to share, Maten answered, “Probably not yet. When we talk about it as a team, then I would definitely would be able to share my insight about it.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in UGA / DawgNation

Georgia Bulldogs baseball preview
Georgia Bulldogs baseball preview

2017 record: 25-32, 11-19 SEC Season opener: vs. Georgia Southern, 5 p.m. Friday Here are three important issues heading into the season: Internal improvement: The SEC has proved that young teams can blossom quickly, with recent rises from Auburn, Arkansas and Mississippi State as evidence. The Bulldogs could see jumps from shortstop Cam Shepherd,...
Georgia’s coaches clinic to feature three top NFL coaches
Georgia’s coaches clinic to feature three top NFL coaches

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn and Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay will headline the 2018 Georgia’s Coaches Clinic, the university announced Monday. The clinic will be from March 29-31 at the Georgia campus in Athens and also will feature a number of Bulldogs coaches, including Kirby Smart. Fans...
Looking at how Georgia’s top recruits will impact the program
Looking at how Georgia’s top recruits will impact the program

The Bulldogs don’t plan to go away anytime soon. After years of underachieving and riding the treadmill, Georgia broke through in 2017, eventually falling just short of a national championship because of Alabama freshman heroics. But Kirby Smart’s crew will have its own youthful injection next season when it welcomes the country’s...
Georgia Bulldogs’ 2018 schedule
Georgia Bulldogs’ 2018 schedule

The Georgia Bulldogs are the defending SEC Champions entering the 2018 college football season. Georgia will open the season Sept. 1 against Austin Peay, the schools’ first meeting, and also will face Massachusetts on Nov. 17 as part of a football and basketball agreement.  The Bulldogs’ four true road games will be SEC contests at...
Georgia’s Roquan Smith declares for NFL Draft
Georgia’s Roquan Smith declares for NFL Draft

After the season he had, it’s not a surprise. Georgia junior linebacker Roquan Smith will forgo his senior season and declare for the 2018 NFL Draft. “The decision to leave is not easy but I know it is the right one,” Smith said in a statement. “Georgia will always be my school and my home and I sincerely wish all the best to...
More Stories