Pitt likely not to join anthem protests |

Pitt likely not to join anthem protests

Jerry DiPaola
Chaz Palla
Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi yells during the Oklahoma State game Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at Heinz Field.

Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said Wednesday he doesn’t believe his players will join the national anthem protests when the Panthers plays Rice on Saturday at Heinz Field.

“(President Donald) Trump hasn’t said anything about college football yet, I guess,” he said.

Pitt players typically stand at their bench for the national anthem at home games, and Narduzzi said he doesn’t see that changing.

“Again, the kids have freedom to do what they want,” he said. “In no way will we say we’re not going out for the national anthem because I’m afraid of what our guys will do or say.

“That’s who we are. I’m proud of our guys. I respect their thoughts, their feelings. But we also want to educate them on when is the right place, right time, really. And if you’ve got great answers for why you’re doing something, then have at it and we respect that.”

He said there has been good communication from the Pitt administration to the coaches and into the school’s locker rooms.

“We try to do a nice job of educating our guys on what this is all about, what are we really talking about in the situation,” he said. “The communication between the players and the coaches and the administration we hope is what is well done.”

Narduzzi said current events have reached the point where he doesn’t even want to open the USA Today app on his phone.

“My favorite newspaper is the USA Today,” he said. “I usually go just read the front page and what’s happening with North Korea with the Rocket Man and all those things. Just reading all the stuff that’s going on now.

“Now I open up USA Today and I’m seeing NFL football and American flags. I don’t even want to open up the newspaper or my app, I guess I should say. It’s unfortunate. We’re kind of shielded from it.”

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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