Video: Kent State invites fans to the floor during anthem for unity display

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In a time where divisiveness and protest garner so much attention, Kent State just used its basketball program to advocate for inclusiveness.

The Golden Flashes welcomed fans on to the floor to join them during the national anthem ahead of their game Wednesday against Mississippi Valley State to promote unity and diversity.

“This was not my idea,” Kent State Rob Senderoff told ESPN. “This was something (the players) came up with and brought to me. My first reaction was, ‘What a statement for them to make.’ For a bunch of 18- to 22-year-olds to come up with this is incredibly mature.

“We understand all of the issues going on in our world,” stated sophomore point guard Jalen Avery, on behalf of his teammates. “In these times, we felt it was important to show a sign of unity in our community.”

“The players approached the coaching staff with this idea, and we fully supported them,” said head coach Rob Senderoff. “It takes courage for our players to make a statement like this, and I believe it is a representation of the unity in our campus community.”

Kent State went on to defeat Mississippi Valley State, 93-63, in front of an announced crowd of 2,524.