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NAIA Basketball Tournament To Move After Host Freaks Out Over Anthem Protests

Photographic evidence of the existence of College of the Ozarks (Cliff Schiappa/AP)

It appears another rinky-dink American organization is willing to shoot its dick off in order to protest athletes kneeling during the playing of the national anthem at sporting events. This time it’s College of the Ozarks, host of the last 18 NAIA Divison II men’s basketball tournaments, asking the league to move the event in order to uphold the school’s “No Pledge, No Play” policy.

Have a look at this craziness, via the Branson Tri-Lakes News:

“The NAIA missed the opportunity to take a stand,” College of the Ozarks President Jerry Davis said in a release on Friday. “They refused to craft a simple policy requiring players to stand for the national anthem. The NAIA’s refusal demonstrates a lack of moral clarity on a significant national issue.

“Their decision contradicts their own character emphasis that identifies respect as a key trait, and we believe they are missing a golden opportunity to teach student-athletes about the honor due our country and its veterans.”


Lest you think the Branson Tri-Lakes News is a Macedonian fake news outlet, here’s the NAIA’s version:

The NAIA believes the playing of the anthem provides student-athletes and fans an important and time-honored tradition to honor our country and veterans. The association encourages everyone in attendance to stand when the anthem is played.

The NAIA also understands that the freedom of speech — and the right to peaceful protest — are indisputable rights in the United States. Because the NAIA is made up of 250 diverse schools, the association believes it is in the best interest of the institutions to let them individually decide what actions are acceptable for their coaches and student-athletes.

A new location for the tournament has yet to be determined. College of the Ozarks is a small Christian liberal arts school near the Missouri-Arkansas border. It had another two years on its current contract to host the annual tournament, but its newly enacted and dumb as hell anthem policy put it in conflict with the NAIA:

Davis, upset at the recent spate of athletes choosing to protest by kneeling or sitting during the playing of the national anthem before games, announced the policy last month.

The policy says if any players or team personnel “show disrespect for the national anthem or flag,” C of O teams will not participate in the contest.

“We’re not going to be party to an event that showcases disrespect to the national anthem or American flag,” Davis said in announcing the policy change.


The two parties reportedly had a series of meetings to resolve the issue, and ultimately the decision was made to move the event. College president Jerry Davis, a crazy man, believes they made the right choice:

“We appreciate the efforts of the staff to communicate our concerns to the committee,” Davis said in the Friday release. “Unfortunately, it appears the committee believes a ‘do your own thing’ mentality supersedes patriotism. College of the Ozarks takes seriously its patriotic mission and thus has made the decision to no longer host the tournament.”


May College of the Ozarks sink into a swamp, forever.

h/t John Caldwell

Staff Writer, Deadspin

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