In the Civil Rights era, quite a few personalities in sports such as Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali Brown and Dean Smith sometimes spoke out on issues of injustice although at times severe repercussions could have been faced, sadly in the case of Ali.
As we are now in the 21st century, athletes, coaches and administrators usually keep their mouth shut and nose out of controversial issues, well, because it would cost them big time money and their livelihood.
This weekend, one man broke the mold – Steve Spurrier.
Whether you agree with him or not, you have to respect and appreciate the stand Steve Spurrier made.
After the Gamecocks’ spring game, Steve Spurrier in a press conference said the Confederate flag should not fly at the
"My opinion is we don't need the Confederate flag at our Capitol," Spurrier said Saturday. "I don't really know anybody that wants it there, but I guess there are a lot of
City Year board chairman Kerry Abel said Spurrier's remarks at his group's awards banquet Friday night caught everyone by surprise.
On a video of the banquet, Spurrier is heard saying the South Carolina-Tennessee game last year, which was featured on ESPN's "GameDay," was marred "by some clown ... waving that dang, damn Confederate flag behind the TV set. And it was embarrassing to me and I know embarrassing to our state.
"I realize I'm not supposed to get in the political arena as a football coach, but if anybody were ever to ask me about that damn Confederate flag, I would say we need to get rid of it. I've been told not to talk about that. But if anyone were ever to ask me about it, I certainly wish we could rid of it."
Even though coaches these days are supposed to lead their teams to victories and give inspirational post game thoughts, it’s nice to see a person of Spurrier’s stature and power at the University give his thoughts on a political hot button issue.
For me, as an African American, I have never lived in the “deep South”, but I think the confederate flag is one of oppression, hate, and a gateway to
My first exposure to the Confederate flag came via trip to
I can see where the issue of ‘Southern Pride’ comes into play, but for a group of people, a sizable one in that state and a few others, the flag is representation of division.
I have no idea why Spurrier said what he said, but perhaps it might be that a lot of his players are African-American and play for a state school, or he in his heart truly believes it should not be flown on the state capitol; however, I find it refreshing to hear a coach speak his mind on issues other than football.
Personally, I believe for the good of the state of
More importantly, it would help to heal the ugly wounds of part of America’s ugly past and let be known that the opinion of a sizable portion of the state’s population actually matters.