COLUMBIA, S.C. — Much like other athletes in the country, Dawn Staley and her players will not just "shut up and dribble."
The Gamecocks (7-1, 2-0) have used their voices on and off the court this season as many of the players have sat during the playing of the National Anthem in protest of the events that took place last summer.
The protest has garnered praise and some animosity from Gamecock fans who feel it's disrespectful and unpatriotic.
On Saturday, Staley was asked about the events that took place on Capitol Hill last Wednesday.
She says she was disheartened when the fans who said the Gamecocks were disrespectful for sitting, didn't have the same energy when it came to talking about the riots in DC.
"I have yet to have anybody call out the acts in DC as disrespectful or despicable, or all of the adjectives that our players have been called over the past few months." Staley said.
Over the past several months, Staley has come to the defense of her players' actions and she hopes the events in DC will make people ask a simple question: "Why are the players sitting?"
"They just look at an act and say it's despicable and thoughtless, but I haven't heard the question as to why? But we got our why on Wednesday," Staley says. "So when our players sit or kneel, that's why because we live in a America that is divided."
Staley concluded her thoughts Saturday by saying that her team will continue to speak out and will not just "shut up and dribble."
"When you tell us to shut up and dribble -- when those same people are doing what they did on Wednesday,] -- no. Because that impacts all of us." Staley said.