Athletes across the nation have been speaking out about the systemic racism they’ve had to endure at PWI’s around the country, particularly in the South where confederate flags and statues of oppressors and slave owners have been celebrated for decades.
Following the George Floyd murder and the massive protests for change in policing and racial equality, students have united to take stands against these symbols of bigotry and have also called out some high profile coaches such as Clemson’s Dabo Swinney and Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy for contributing to systemic racism at some point in their programs over the years.
Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey warned the state of Mississippi on Thursday that if the state doesn’t change its flag, he was going to put the fullcourt press on.
— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) June 18, 2020
The NCAA Board of Governors Hit The Pockets
The NCAA, long criticized for exploiting Black student-athletes, seems to be on the side of the SEC, students of color and progressive change.
NCAA bans championship events in Mississippi because of its flag https://t.co/iVhU403LHb
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) June 19, 2020
The NCAA announced that it is banning all of its championship events from being in the state as long as the Confederate emblem is emblazoned upon the Mississippi state flag.
The time is now to change the culture and start the journey towards true racial equality, And despite the fact that some supporters of Confederate symbols — including the President of the United States — argue that those symbols are a part of history that THEY are proud of, but for the millions of Black people in this country it is nothing more than a constant reminder of the oppression they face every day.
Some protesters have taken it upon themselves to remove confederate statues and symbols without permission. Rather than try and defends a flag that represents Black bloodshed and a time when people of color were considered subhuman, It would have been nice if the leaders of the Mississippi colleges had enough sense to be proactive.
Where is the sensitivity towards the people of color that comprise the every-diversifying student body at Mississippi universities, It’s kind of sad that it takes possibly losing millions of dollars in revenue for the schools to even consider it
Consequences Of Mississippi’s Stubborn Attachment To Racist Symbols
If the state of Mississippi doesn’t remove these symbols, then Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Southern Miss baseball programs would no longer be able to host regionals or super regionals. All three baseball teams are regular contenders for conference championships and in the hunt as regional hosts.
Mississippi State women’s basketball team has recently served as a host to early-round games in the NCAA Tournament. The Lady Bulldogs will be forced to play on the road during the tournament under this ruling.
“There is no place in college athletics or the world for symbols or acts of discrimination and oppression,” board chair Michael V. Drake said in a statement. “We must continually evaluate ways to protect and enhance the championship experience for college athletes. Expanding the Confederate flag policy to all championships is an important step by the NCAA to further provide a quality experience for all participants and fans.”
It’s about time. Maybe this is the first step towards changing the racist culture in many of these southern schools. The statues have to go next.