SEC Commissioner Demands that University of Mississippi Take Down Confederate Flag
According to a CBS Sports report, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said that the conference will reconsider hosting conference championship events in Mississippi if the state does not change its flag, which features a confederate insignia in its design.
“It is past time for change to be made to the flag of the State of Mississippi,” Sankey stated. “Our students deserve an opportunity to learn and compete in environments that are inclusive and welcome to all. In the event there is no change, there will be consideration of precluding Southeastern Conference championship events from being conducted in the State of Mississippi until the state flag is changed.”
This statement came about when Mississippi state lawmakers have re-ignited discussions about changing the state flag. Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves hasn’t backed this legislative push. Reeves said that all changes to the state flag should be brought about by statewide election. The last time state residents voted on the flag was in 2001, where they decided to keep the confederate emblem in place.
Mississippi State’s president Mark Keenum responded to Sankey’s statement right after it was published. Keenum has advocated for changing the flag, counting on the support of the student association and faculty senate since 2015. He recently wrote a letter to the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the Mississippi House to “reaffirm that support.”
“I have great respect for Commissioner Greg Sankey, and I understand why he has taken this position regarding Mississippi’s state flag,” Keenum commented. “Clearly the current national climate is such that this debate may produce unintended consequences for our student athletes here at Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi. There may be similar unintended consequences for academic pursuits at all our state’s public universities and negative economic impacts on the state’s communities as well.”
Ole Miss put out a statement, highlighting that the school stopped flying the state flag at its campus in 2015. Further, the school expressed its support for the SEC’s decision.
CBS Sports explained the significance of the SEC championship:
The SEC football championship is held annually in Atlanta and the men’s basketball championship is committed to all but one year between now and 2030 in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2022, the SEC men’s basketball tournament is scheduled for Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. The women’s basketball tournament is without a host site for 2023-2025 after stops in Greenville, South Carolina and Nashville the next two years. The state of Mississippi has hosted portions of the baseball championships a combined seven times between Starkville (5) and Oxford (2) before the tournament took up residence in Hoover, Alabama in 1998.
America’s kulturkampf continues with no real end in sight.
We could be on the cusp of one of the most radical social transformations in American history, which In no way bodes well for the country’s political stability.