The coach condemned the white supremacist rallies while reaffirming his love for the Charlottesville community.
Virginia coach Tony Bennett gave a statement on Tuesday regarding the gathering of white supremacist groups on and around the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville.
"On behalf of my coaching staff and the Virginia basketball team, we believe in diversity and unity to its fullest extent. We know that when those two things come together, something beautiful and triumphant comes out of it," Bennett said.
"I pray that our program...can provide some source of encouragement and hope to reach out into the community and learn and grow from this."
A number of white supremacist groups convened in Charlottesville this weekend to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue. Scores of protestors marched on the UVA campus with torches while making racially charged chants. There were multiple protests—and counter-protests—over the weekend, as well as a number of confrontations between the two groups and police. One person was killed when a white nationalist drove a car into a group of counter-protestors.
Virginia football coach Bronco Mendenhall told reporters on Thursday that his team is "embracing diversity and being together, and respecting one another for differences, not separating because of differences."
Virginia opens the season on Nov. 11 against Austin Peay.