Ole Miss basketball players kneel during National Anthem in response to pro-Confederacy rally

/ CBS News

Eight University of Mississippi basketball players kneeled during the National Anthem before Saturday's game against Georgia. The gesture was in response to a Confederacy rally held near the arena.

Moments before their game against Georgia, both teams formed lines for the anthem. When the Star-Spangled Banner began to play, six of the players from the "Rebels" took a knee, CBS Jackson, Mississippi affliate WJTV reports. Toward the end of the anthem, two of players joined in, WJTV reports.

"The majority of it was just that we saw one of our teammates doing it and didn't want him to be alone," Ole Miss scoring leader Breein Tyree told the Associated Press. "We're just tired of these hate groups coming to our school and portraying our campus like we have these hate groups in our actual school."

PROUD of these men. #HottyToddy #OleMiss #kneel pic.twitter.com/9qI6oaBNJn

— wells taylor (@____wells____) February 23, 2019

Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis defended the players' protest during the post-game press conference, the Clarion-Ledger reports.

"This was all about the hate groups that came to our community and tried to spread racism and bigotry … in our community," Davis said. "It has created a lot of tension for our campus. I think our players made an emotional decision to show these people they aren't welcome on our campus, and we respect our players' freedom and ability to choose that."

According to the Clarion-Ledger, there were about 100 pro-Confederate protesters marched from The Square, which houses a monument to fallen Confederate soldiers, to The Circle on Ole Miss' campus, where another monument is located. K-Rack Johnson with Confederate 901 told the Clarion-Ledger the march was organized in response to a Students Against Social Injustice protest held in November that advocated for the removal of these Confederate monuments.

There were about 50 counter-protesters Saturday, according to the Clarion-Ledger.

Various of student groups held counter-protests on Thursday and Friday ahead the rally.

First published on February 23, 2019 / 9:04 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Ole Miss basketball players kneel during National Anthem

Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis defended the players' protest during the post-game press conference

6M ago

Puerto Rico governor: Venezuela threatened U.S.-financed ship

The ship carrying humanitarian aid for Venezuela was dispatched and financed by Puerto Rico's government

1H ago

Art classes try to bridge Chicago's segregated Sedgwick Street

On the West Side, a subsidized housing complex called Marshall Field Gardens, home to mostly black residents. And to the east, condos and million-dollar homes, where mostly white residents live

1H ago

Prosecutor outlines sex abuse allegations against R. Kelly

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx described the allegations involving four women

2H ago

Will second Trump-Kim summit be substance or show?

The White House has given few details on its specific goals for the second summit

3H ago

Puerto Rico governor: Venezuela threatened U.S.-financed ship

The ship carrying humanitarian aid for Venezuela was dispatched and financed by Puerto Rico's government

1H ago

Bannon: "zero" doubt Trump running in 2020

Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon spoke Saturday with CBS News Correspondent Seth Doane in Rome.

2H ago

Will second Trump-Kim summit be substance or show?

The White House has given few details on its specific goals for the second summit

3H ago

Mueller details "bold" criminal actions by Paul Manafort in memo

A new court filing says the former Trump campaign chairman "repeatedly and knowingly" violated the law

7H ago

White House unveils new coin for "peace talks" with North Korea

The White House unveiled the coins for the "peace talks" in Vietnam

9H ago

Puerto Rico governor: Venezuela threatened U.S.-financed ship

The ship carrying humanitarian aid for Venezuela was dispatched and financed by Puerto Rico's government

1H ago

Venezuelan soldiers unleash tear gas as tensions rise over blocked aid

Opposition leader Juan Guaido has vowed to bring aid into the country over objections from President Nicolas Maduro

11H ago

At least 93 people have died after drinking tainted liquor in India

The liquor was laced with methyl alcohol, which attacks the central nervous system

13H ago

Airmen killed during WWII crash honored with flyover

Tony Foulds witnessed a crash that killed 10 U.S. airmen

Feb 22

Nuns come forward with abuse allegations against Catholic priests

A group of nuns in India have rallied in support of a nun who said she was raped by her bishop

Feb 22

R. Kelly bond set at $1 million on sexual abuse charges

The bail amount equals $250,000 for each of the four people Kelly is charged with abusing

6H ago

An artist with cerebral palsy, and without limitations

With the help of facilitators, the Matheny Arts Access Program allows artists like Ellen Kane, who lacks muscular dexterity, to bring images in her mind to life on canvas

7H ago

Lily & Madeleine on finding their "third voice"

The New York Times called their sound "deep and seamless and relaxed"

7H ago

Peter Frampton reveals he has rare muscular disease

The legendary guitarist has been furiously recording music while he still can

12H ago

Oscar win for Roma not a happy ending for cinemas

Theaters are struggling as streamers claim audiences and traditional Hollywood studios play catch up

Feb 22

Horrified mom discovers suicide instructions on YouTube Kids

She has made it her mission to bring awareness to disturbing and violent content being consumed by children on social media

6H ago

Microsoft workers protest use of HoloLens headsets for war

They say they "refuse to create technology for warfare and oppression"

13H ago

I opened an email from a "friend." It turned out to be a trick — and dangerous

The email had her photo and mentioned personal details only she would know

14H ago

NASA, SpaceX set for critical test flight

Test flight intended to clear the way for summer resumption of piloted space missions from U.S. soil

23H ago

American, Singapore Airlines have cameras in seat backs

Newer entertainment systems on some American Airlines and Singapore Airlines planes can monitor passengers

Feb 22

Company may have leaked carcinogen into air for years

Breathing in high concentrations of the chemical TCE has been linked to kidney cancer, liver cancer and lymphoma

Feb 22

Child dies a day after flu diagnosis

41 children have died from flu-related causes this flu season, including a fourth-grader who died just one day after being diagnosed

Feb 22

Woman dies after eating at Michelin-starred restaurant

One woman died and 28 other diners have fallen ill after eating at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Valencia, Spain

Feb 22

FDA warns about potentially harmful dietary supplements

Americans spent more than $40 billion on supplements last year, with 3 out of 4 people regularly taking them

Feb 22

"Heartless": Hospital and doctor accused of giving lethal doses of fentanyl

CBS News spoke with five people who said their family members died while under Dr. William Husel's care at Mount Carmel Hospital

Feb 22

I opened an email from a "friend." It turned out to be a trick — and dangerous

The email had her photo and mentioned personal details only she would know

14H ago

Oscar win for Roma not a happy ending for cinemas

Theaters are struggling as streamers claim audiences and traditional Hollywood studios play catch up

Feb 22

Chevy Volt discontinued: Chevrolet's last Volt rolls off the assembly line

The last Chevrolet Volt was built on Tuesday, ending a decade-long quest to make a breakthrough battery-powered car

Feb 22

American, Singapore Airlines have cameras in seat backs

Newer entertainment systems on some American Airlines and Singapore Airlines planes can monitor passengers

Feb 22

Facebook reportedly received users' sensitive health data from apps: "It’s incredibly dishonest"

Health information such as heart rates and pregnancy status was sent from apps without consumer consent

Feb 22

Prosecutor outlines sex abuse allegations against R. Kelly

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx described the allegations involving four women

2H ago

R. Kelly bond set at $1 million on sexual abuse charges

The bail amount equals $250,000 for each of the four people Kelly is charged with abusing

6H ago

Calif. governor orders more DNA testing in 1983 murders

Kevin Cooper, who has been on Death Row, has said he was framed for the hatchet and knife killings of four people, including two children, in Chino Hills

Feb 22

Police describe deplorable conditions at spa in Robert Kraft sex sting

Kraft was among 25 people charged as part of a widespread crackdown on sex trafficking

Feb 22

Indiana man charged in Muslim man's road rage shooting death

Dustin Passarelli, 33, has been charged in the road rage shooting death of Zahra Ayoubi

Feb 22  Original Article