College athletics reacts to proposed change of Miss. state flag

College athletics reacts to proposed change of Miss. state flag
Mississippi to remove state flag, the last to display the Confederate battle emblem (Source: Associated Press)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Reaction to the changing of the Mississippi state flag to remove the Confederate battle emblem from its left corner is resounding through the Magnolia State’s colleges and universities.

Mississippi State’s athletic director John Cohen was among the number of coaches and administrators gathering at the state capitol in Jackson Thursday to request the flag be changed.  

Now that it will be, thanks to today’s vote by the Mississippi state legislature, and the promise by governor Tate Reeves to sign it into law.

Cohen had this to say, “Changing the flag was the right thing to do, and a meaningful step forward in our state. Many great Mississippians worked extremely hard to make this happen. We are proud of all who took a stand, came together to support a change, and seized the opportunity to be on the right side of history.”   

Cohen goes on to say, “This is important not only for our athletics programs but for our university and the entire state. Our state needs and deserves a flag that unites all Mississippians. Together, we are stronger.”

Earlier in the week, S.E.C Commissioner Greg Sankey had said the league would pull its championships out of Mississippi if the state did not change the flag. The NCAA followed the next day with the same game plan.

Sankey credits their concerted effort with help bringing change to Mississippi and added, “I am proud of our university leadership, and the engagement of student-athletes and coaches in the efforts to change the state of Mississippi flag. The agreement to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the flag is a positive and appropriate action, and I applaud the Mississippi House of Representatives and Senate for today’s action. I am also grateful for Governor Reeve’s openness to sign a bill to change the flag. As I have frequently said, our students deserve the opportunity to learn and compete in welcoming environments. Today’s action is welcomed in the spirit of this goal.” 

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