Players for No. 1 South Carolina women sit during anthem

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Ten players for No. 1 South Carolina remained seated during the national anthem before their season opener with College of Charleston on Wednesday.

Only junior forward Elysa Wesolek stood during the anthem. Coach Dawn Staley and her staff also stood.

The team posted a statement on Twitter saying that many of them did not stand “to shine a light on the need for racial equaliy, social justice and ending systemic racism in our country.”

The statement acknowledged that the players understood that not everyone would agree with what they did, “but we ask that everyone respect our right” to make their own choices, it said.

There was no reaction from the small crowd at Colonial Life Arena after the anthem.

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More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/Womenscollegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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