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AAC Commissioner: Student Athletes Have Right To Protest At Games

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Nadya Faulx
/
KMUW
Wichita State University President John Bardo, left, and AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco wait for a press conference to begin Monday at Koch Arena.

The commissioner of the American Athletic Conference says the organization isn’t taking a stand on the recent “Take a Knee” protests in the NFL.

Mike Aresco says the conference is leaving it up to the 13 individual member schools how to deal with potential protests by student athletes.

“As far as we’re concerned they have a right to do that. It’s not a question of condoning or not condoning it," he said at a press conference Monday at Wichita State University. "We obviously have great respect for the country and the flag, I think we all understand that, but we understand that there’s a right to protest.”

Many NFL players knelt during the national anthem prior to games over the weekend, in protest of racial inequality. Aresco says with the exception of men’s basketball, teams at AAC schools aren’t even out during the national anthem.

"I know how our schools have handled in the past," he said. "We don't think it would ultimately be an issue."

Aresco was in Wichita Monday to welcome Wichita State University into AAC. WSU officially joined the conference in July.

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