TCU coach Gary Patterson said he hasn’t talked to his players about national anthem protests because it hasn’t been necessary, but also that, “You’ve got to allow people to be people.”
“No. 1, our university is free speech,” Patterson said Tuesday at a bye week press conference when asked what he would tell a player who wanted to protest like some NFL players who have knelt during the anthem to highlight racial injustice.
“I’m going to answer you like this: This doesn’t have anything to do with all of that, this just has to do with everything in general,” Patterson said. “I just want us to get back to treating people right, doing the right thing. If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all. How about we do that?
“So for me, that’s everybody else’s right now. That’s the situation that’s out there. My job is to take care of TCU, win football games.”
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Patterson continued: “You’ve got to allow people to be people. But also, there are a lot of things out there that are just the right thing to do. And do the right thing and to act right and to treat people right and get everybody in the same direction. That’s what I grew up with where I grew up.”
President Donald Trump criticized NFL players over the weekend for their protests during the anthem over social injustice, police brutality and racism.
Patterson was asked if he has talked to his players about the possibility of protests coming to college athletics.
“Nope,” he said. “No. 1, we’re not out there for the anthem.”
He added somewhat jokingly, “That would be my advice to the NFL.”
TCU vs. West Virginia
2:30 p.m., Oct. 7, FS1