The kneeling of the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team during the national anthem during Saturday’s game displeased many Kentucky residents, including Laurel County Sheriff John Root and Laurel County Jailer Jamie Mosley.
To show their frustration with what Mosley called a lack of respect, the two gathered some of their memories of the UK on Sunday and posted a video in which they burned a UK shirt.
But the two men decided to turn something negative into a positive gesture, collecting clothes from the UK from those who oppose the basketball team’s actions and donating to the needy.
Mosley said the value of the donations was incredible, as was the overwhelming support received for his actions.
“We have six full garbage bags and now we are washing and sorting them in different sizes to be donated,” said Mosley. “We talked to the homeless shelter (Casa do Bom Samaritano) and they are participating. The rest will be donated to the Ministries of Restoration in Lily.”
Mosley said he was surprised and moved by the support shown by the public.
“We had veterans who came here wearing a hat, thanking us for defending them,” added Mosley. “It would bring tears to your eyes. Here they were, thanking us when we should be thanking them.”
Mosley said that scolding the men’s basketball team is “an important issue” that he thinks needs to be addressed.
“We only have a few sacred things left – we must remain during the national anthem to show respect to our veterans and the flag that represents the freedoms for which they fought and we must bow our heads and be quiet during prayer. When we lose these things, the what’s left? ” he said.
He said he and Root have teamed up to dispose of some items from the UK.
“We were hurt and disappointed with the team kneeling during the national anthem. And that happened on the National Law Enforcement Day, so we express our discontent with the team’s actions. We fully respect the right to do what they did, but the timing was all wrong. But the same rights they have apply to us too, and we felt that we needed to show our hurt for their actions. “
He added that the video of the two of them burning a UK shirt (which has already been removed from Facebook) showed their discontent with the team’s actions, but that “there was no harsh word said” during the action.
“But we thought that, instead of burning the items, we would collect and donate them to someone else. With these donations, maybe someone who didn’t have a warm shirt has one, ”he added. “So, we saw an opportunity to do something good and that was a gesture to do something good from something negative and help a lot of people. And the support has been overwhelming ”.
Mosley said he received very few negative comments, although he was called a racist. The comments left on the video and the stories published across the state showed a mixture of support and opposition.
“This has nothing to do with race. But when the national anthem music begins, we must salute the flag because there are so many people who have sacrificed themselves for it and for what it represents ”, he added. “I have no animosity against the team and I will not say that I will never see them play again, but John and I represent 130 to 140 people who wear badges every day, many of these veterans and police and several military assets now. How would it be if didn’t we do something? “
Mosley added that there were no comments on either him or Root’s post about the violent protests in Washington D.C. last week, but that he never supported such actions.
“I do not support any transgressions or any illegal acts,” he continued. “It is not about politics. It is about our flag, rising during the national anthem and honoring our veterans. And it is not just us – there are many people reacting like us. The Knox County Tax Court voted to suspend the funding for the UK. Many of the sponsors have also given up and I hope there is more. “
Mosley reiterated that he was not bitter or angry about the actions of UK coaches and team members.
“I am not angry. I am hurt. I think there should be a policy in place in the UK to avoid putting coaches in the situation they are in,” he continued. “But my values just don’t match what the team is showing now.”
Attempts to contact Root for comment were unsuccessful.