Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz doesn’t know what his team will do when the national anthem is played before games this season, but whatever happens, he wants the Hawkeyes to be unified.

Wednesday, Ferentz spoke with reporters via Zoom about many topics. One of the things the head coach was asked about was about creating an open culture in the locker room as it pertains to social injustice, police brutality and other matters regarding race. He explained that he wanted to create a more open dialogue and develop a culture that helps create long-term change.


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One of the talking points was the national anthem and how he wants his team to approach it during this season. More than anything, Ferentz wants everyone to be on the same page and show unity.

“I’d just like to see our team be together,” Ferentz said, according to Robert Read of The Daily Iowan. “So everybody’s taking a knee or everybody’s at attention. Either way the big thing is to be together.”

Kneeling during the national anthem was a movement that gained attention in 2016, when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee because of police brutality and racial inequality in America. Many athletes across the sports world followed his lead, though it was met with harsh criticism.

Ferentz seems open to the idea of kneeling during the national anthem prior to games for the upcoming season, if that’s what the team decides. Regardless of what the Hawkeyes do this fall, they’ll be doing it together.