NewsNational

Sheriff, jailer burn University of Kentucky shirts after players kneel before game

Posted at 10:32 AM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-11 10:32:25-05

LONDON, Ky. — On Saturday night, the University of Kentucky basketball team took a knee during the National Anthem prior to tip-off against the Florida Gators.

The players said this action was a message toward the ongoing issues that are taking place in the nation.

Following the game, Laurel County Sheriff John Root expressed his outrage toward the decision to kneel and made a promise about his UK gear.

On Sunday afternoon, he posted a follow-up video burning UK shirts alongside County Jailer Jamie Mosley. Later that night, the video was taken down off Facebook.

John Root.PNG
Sheriff John Root holding UK Final Four shirt before throwing into a fire. (Courtesy: Sheriff John Root Facebook page)

The video begins: "I'm Sheriff John Root here, with my good friend Jailer Jamie Mosley, and we're kind of discussing the outrage last night of the University of Kentucky Wildcats. That disrespected our American flag and our National Anthem."

As he threw the shirt in, Sheriff Root said, "And this is what I think about the program Coach, until you can get these guys under control and lead by example. Here's my shirt."

After Jailer Mosley threw his own shirt in, he made an offer to people in Laurel County. He said that if you bring your UK shirt or gear to the Laurel County Detention Center on Monday, the first 100 will receive a "Back the Badge" shirt in exchange. The shirt is in support of first responders.

"So if you feel the same way we do and you've got some shirts that you no longer want, bring those to the jail tomorrow," said Mosley.

They said the remaining shirts will go to people in a homeless shelter, or in need.

Following Kentucky's victory, some of the players and Coach Calipari discussed the decision to kneel.

"I think the message pretty much stands for itself," said Kentucky forward Keion Brooks. "We just came together as leaders of the team and decided this is something we want to do to take a stand to what we're seeing in the world today. Coach (Calipari) was with us. It's great to have the man in charge backing you with everything you do."

"It's something that speaks for itself," said Calipari. "These kids are good kids and they care about this country and all of the other stuff. They're trying to figure out life and making statements they think they have to make. I want to listen to what they're saying and I want to support them if they want me to be there."