Players for No. 1 South Carolina women sit during anthem

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South Carolina guard Zia Cooke, right, Olivia Thompson, and LeLe Grissett, remain seated during the conclusion of the national anthem, as coaches Dawn Staley and Fred Chmiel, left, stand on the sideline before an NCAA college basketball game against Charleston Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina won 119-38. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Ten players for the No. 1 South Carolina women’s basketball team remained seated during the national anthem before their season opener.

The team posted a statement on Twitter saying many of them didn’t stand “to shine a light on the need for racial equality, social justice and ending systemic racism” in the United States.

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

The team statement said the players understood that not everyone would agree with what they did but asked people to respect their right to make those choices.

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