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USF Football Head Coach Charlie Strong’s Thoughts on NFL National Anthem Protests.

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Full transcript of of Strong’s statements from Tuesday’s press conference.

NCAA Football: Temple at South Florida Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

USF football head coach Charlie Strong was asked a series of questions regarding the protests over the weekend in the NFL. I did not include them in the Tweetcap because they deserved to be transcribed fully without any commentary.

There’s been a lot of controversy in football this weekend, mostly in the NFL, with the anthem and things like that. Can you talk about what you shared with your team and what they shared with you about what they saw this weekend?

CCS:

There’s times when there’s issues and there’s issues all across the country but there are issues that you can come to a common answer if everybody is willing to work together. A lot of times, everybody’s got to have their opinion, you know. I may not believe what you believe, but it’s not that you’re wrong. It’s like we sit down and have a conversation and [are] able to express our beliefs then we can come to an understanding of why you feel the way you feel and the reason why I feel the way I feel.

But, even with our team I tell them ‘if you’re willing to make a stand about something, make sure that you have researched it and you have a reason for making that stand.’

Have any of your players expressed anything to you or have you talked to any of your players about any of that NFL stuff?

CCS:

No, I haven’t said much about it and they haven’t themselves. But, they see it happening around them. There’s always gonna be conversations because they see it. But like I told them, it’s all about us..we have a team where if there was ever an issue that comes up in this program that we’ll sit down and talk about it as a football team.

Regardless of who’s right or wrong, it’s not what it’s about; just to avoid the distraction, are you just kinda glad that you guys stay in the tunnel during the national anthem?

CCS:

Well, you know what Joey, you have to respect the American flag. You have to respect this country. We live in a great country and we have our individual rights, we have our freedom of speech and we can do and say as we please. Like I said, some people may not agree with it but I can sometimes sit there and listen to that and my mind goes to Puerto Rico and what’s happening there in that country and they’re talking about the number of days they’re not gonna have power. Let’s go help those people.

Look what happened, even in this state, look what happened in Texas and it’s all about we’re trying to help other people and sometimes there’s battles to fight but let’s take care of what’s happening around us instead of thinking that’s not an issue when it is an issue.

What would you if one of your players expressed to you a desire to make a statement before a game?

CCS:

We would have a conversation and we would talk about what’s the reason why you’re making this statement and why you feel the way you feel. You have to have that conversation with the player because you don’t want him to just stand up and all of a sudden just feel like this is what I need to do.