Luis Haza, a member of the College of Coastal Georgia Foundation’s Board of Trustees, has quit in disgust in response to men’s and women’s basketball players’ and a coach’s decision to protest the national anthem by kneeling at a game. In an email sent to interim CCGA president Meg Amstutz, Haza flatly said that “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. …”
The Board of Regents gave a green light to CCGA to allow the kneeling demonstration, and its recently-released legal decision factored into Kennesaw State University President Sam Olens’ abrupt about-face to now allow cheerleaders back onto the athletic field so some can continue protesting the anthem. (Olens is currently in hot water with the Regents’ for his fumbling response to the first KSU cheerleader protest.)
In his email, Haza said “to permit students to claim First Amendment speech while trampling on the National Anthem, which bears the name of our nation’s flag, demonstrates shortsighted and inadequate leadership as an institution of higher learning.”
Amstuz emailed board of trustees members, according to The Brunswick News, to share a recent message sent to all college presidents in the University System from Kimberly Ballard-Washington, interim vice chancellor for legal affairs for the Regents.
Ballard-Washington said she advised that the protests during the national anthem are somehow protected by students’ First Amendment rights, as long as the protests are not disruptive. “Communications with the Office of the Attorney General have confirmed that our advice and counsel was correct,” according to the email. “Our student athletes do not relinquish their First Amendment rights by consenting to participate in collegiate athletics or activities.
InsiderAdvantage plans to contact various prominent Georgia attorneys to get their opinion of this new and controversial Regents policy which apparently is backed by state Attorney General Chris Carr.