John Calipari has meticulously praised his reputation as a football coach.
Titan recruits, he has rebuilt Kentucky’s blue blood basketball program in his own image, a godsend for five-star talent competing for championships and more importantly. That is evolving as a man and a potential NBA.
That is the message that Calipari sells every opportunity he gets and every time the camera is around, which is normal.
He sent out a huge message Wednesday while talking about the latest players’ protests over last week’s violence on Capitol Hill.
Protesting the Kentucky players
In the aftermath of last week’s attacks on the US federal agency by a group of supporters of President Donald Trump, Calipari players made a statement they kneeled during the national anthem ahead of Saturday’s game against the Florida rivals SEC.
“There are things that happen every day that we kneel for it,” Keion Brooks said. “Government agencies – that – are involved in it. But there are some things that we don’t see going every day, unacceptable that we want to stand up to it. ”
Calipari joined them reluctantly.
“I crossed my arms, but I knelt with them because I supported them,” Kalipari explains.
Calipari in protest: ‘might not be a good time to do it’
On Wednesday, amid political pressure, the Kentucky coach was estranged from the players’ kneeling decision.
“I didn’t know about it until 90 minutes before the game,” Calipari told reporters at a news conference. How to bring people together? How do you make a difference? Not just how are you going to make a statement? …
“They are 18 years old, they are learning. These kids are good They have a good heart This politics may not be a really good time. “
He went on to say that his players thought it was the right time to protest and repeatedly said the protests were not about the military. Which, of course, is not Even the NFL has long abandoned that building to distract from the real issue at hand.
And when is the best time to do it?
Calipari’s stance raises many questions. Nothing is as clear: if not now, when is the appropriate time?
Changes in this country are often brought about by people expressing the right to free speech at the First Amendment. Athletes in the sport are transforming the conversation about social justice and the right to vote in 2020, the year when racial, national and electoral considerations are the most productive of our lifetime.
Standing or kneeling in front of white supremacists and right-wing extremism staged in Washington on Wednesday takes courage. Especially in the politically red state of Kentucky.
Kentucky’s mostly black youngster group expressed such courage on Saturday Calipari – the 61-year-old white man has been concerned since facing political backlash.
The protests met with a strong backlash.
Kentucky basketball protests met displeasure in some corners of the state.
Small town sheriff John Ruth, who described Kentucky as a “country state”, used social media to set Kentucky on fire and urged the university to “find real people to lead.” Real cats and crew “
Members of Knox County Fiscal Court in southern Kentucky signed a unanimous call on Kentucky to defend Britain.
“The University of Kentucky receives millions of dollars every year from hard-working Kentucky taxpayers’ money,” Judge Executive Mike Mitchell told the Times-Tribune. I think they are responsible for their actions if they can’t be handled no better. ”
England supported players
UK administration including School President Eli Capilouto and Sporting Director Mitch Barnhart saw the backlash and wrote an official statement supporting players and their rights to protest.
Calipari surrenders instead.
He responded by asking questions about the timing of his athlete’s actions. He asked why young men who make nearly $ 9 million a year don’t “take action” or “bring people together” as if bringing people to the face of racism and violence. It is the purpose of the teenagers rather than the real powerful
Like all major college basketball coaches, Calipari has been supporting himself as a player coach who will provide the best chances of success in basketball and beyond. That, in the best interest of almost all involved, produced 31 first-round NBA draft picks, national titles and a $ 86 million contract with the UK.
On Wednesday he failed to play his game. He too has failed.
More from Yahoo Sports: