Badgers women's basketball player's protest draws criticism from - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badgers women's basketball player's protest draws criticism from senator

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MADISON (WKOW) -

MADISON (WKOW) -- Badgers women's basketball player Marsha Howard has been quietly protesting prior to games this season by standing in the tunnel during the National Anthem. That quiet protest drew loud criticism from Sen. Chuck Grassley after he was informed Howard didn't stand for the anthem at Sunday's game at Iowa.

Badgers head coach Jonathan Tsipis explained Howard and some of his other players approached him before the season with their desire to draw attention to the gun violence issues in the country. He says they've been standing in the tunnel at most games during the anthem. However, no tunnel was near Wisconsin's bench at Iowa. So, the protest became more visible.

"Our young women are not protesting the national anthem. Our young women are trying to make a statement for the gun violence that's happening in our country. I'm proud of them to be able to do that knowing that not everybody is going to feel that their decision is the same opinion as people across this country have."

Tsipis made it clear he will continue to support his players' right to voice their opinion in the future.

"I'm proud of Marsha to be able to express her opinion and will continue to support our players when they come to us and we have active dialogue to express today's social issues."

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