College of Coastal Georgia basketball players continued their protest Wednesday by kneeling during the national anthem.

Several women’s basketball players kneeled during the anthem, and the entire men’s team on the court kneeled before their game.

Both teams played Middle Georgia State College at home Wednesday night.

The teams first kneeled during the national anthem before a game Nov. 1. The players have said they are kneeling to protest racial inequality and police brutality in America.

“We are protesting the inequality in America,” said Brandon Martin, a senior player on the men’s team during an open forum discussion hosted by the college Tuesday.

Their decision to kneel has led to criticism on social media and at the two open forum discussions hosted by the college since the Nov. 1 game.

Luis Haza, a former College of Coastal Georgia Foundation board of trustee member, resigned on Monday in response to the protest.

“In light of the recent decision by the leadership of the College of Coastal Georgia, to allow our National Anthem to be inappropriately used as a vehicle for protest, I hereby resign from the Board of Trustees,” Haza wrote in an email Monday to Meg Amstutz, interim president at CCGA, and Kevin Salaway, vice president of advancement at CCGA.

Amstutz emailed board of trustees members later Monday to share a message sent to all college presidents in the University System of Georgia in October, soon after cheerleaders at Kennesaw State University began to kneel during the anthem.

Kimberly Ballard-Washington, interim vice chancellor for legal affairs for the USG Board of Regents, said in the email that the students are protected by their First Amendment rights, as long as the protest is not disruptive.

“Our student athletes do not relinquish their First Amendment rights by consenting to participate in collegiate athletics or activities,” Ballard-Washington wrote.

During the national anthem before the men’s game, all players on the court kneeled. The coaches did not kneel. Many players kept their hands over their hearts.

All players on the visiting team stood during the anthem, across the court from the CCGA players.

A few people left the gym immediately after the anthem.

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