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Sunday, February 24, 2019

New flag controversy at Ole Miss, different result (so far)

Prior to a game played while about 100 pro-Confederacy protesters marched through Oxford and onto campus a few hundred feet from the arena, where they were met by about 50 counter-protesters.

At least so far, no one has criticized the players, not even the President. I am curious whether anyone will do so, given that this in specific response to what many people regard as a racist rally by a "hate group." This also highlights the changing meaning of using the flag to counter-speak--the message here was different in context than what Kaepernick did. Finally, we have clear state action here, unlike with the NFL; any attempt to punish the players would implicate First Amendment rights.

Ole Miss Coach Kermit Davis spoke about it after the game (video is embedded in some of the links above):

This was all about the hate groups that came to our community trying to spread racism and bigotry, you know, in our community. It’s created a lot of tension for our campus. I think our players made an emotional decision to show these people they’re not welcome on our campus. We respect our players freedom and ability to choose that.”

Davis' support is important because when was announced as coach last spring, he went out of his way to announce that he would create a program with a "respectful team that respects the flag and the National Anthem." Perhaps he now realizes that these protests are not disrespectful--or at least that it is not as simple as throwing around the word respect.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on February 24, 2019 at 01:12 PM in First Amendment, Howard Wasserman, Sports | Permalink


Howard: Thank you for bringing attention to this incredibly courageous act by the players. To follow up on something you said: while I also haven't seen any prominent public figures criticize the players, you can easily find a lot of people on social media upset with them, the coach, and the athletic director.

Posted by: Ben Cooper | Feb 25, 2019 10:10:36 AM

Just like how the "n" word means something different in a rock song versus a rap song, so "kneeling during the anthem" means something different from a white guy versus a black guy.

The Chinese, for instance, have a long cultural tradition of kneeling during their anthem at the olympics to protest the communist party.

Posted by: Kansas' wayward son | Feb 25, 2019 2:01:50 AM

Ole Miss is a state institution--everything it does is state action.

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Feb 24, 2019 2:38:23 PM

Interesting, but, on one hand, that respectable coach, had stated clearly to reporter at the time ( while appointed ) that, I quote:

“We’re going to be a respectful team that respects the flag and the national anthem"

And :

“All those things from culture is what we’re about. It’s who we’re going to be.”

Well, that much ?? Then he could find or improvised other ways, for counter protesting those alleged hate groups. Why at the back of the National anthem or the flag. One could think of 10 thousands ways to do it.

Concerning first amendment violation, one needs to prove of course, that, in that case or generally speaking , that University functions as state or agent of the state. Fulfilling traditional state or public functions of course, in order to get such remedy in case of.


Posted by: El roam | Feb 24, 2019 2:21:36 PM

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