“It is time that changes are made to the flag of the State of Mississippi,” said Mr. Sankey in a press release. “Our students deserve an opportunity to learn and compete in environments that are inclusive and welcoming to all.
“In the case where there would be no change, it would be envisaged to prevent the holding of events of the championship of the southeastern Conference in the State of Mississippi until the flag is changed. ”
The SEC has held for the last time a championship at the Mississippi river in may 2016, when the State of Mississippi has hosted the tournament of softball starkville area. The NCAA has already banned the holding of its events post-season predetermined in Mississippi because of the flag.
In 2001, the Mississippiens voted in a referendum to keep the present flag. But this week, in the wake of national demonstrations against racism, the legislators of Mississippi have again proposed a bill that would remove the symbol confederate flag.
Several State universities, including the State of Mississippi and Ole Miss, have ceased to fly the flag in 2016.
The president of the University of the State of Mississippi, Mark Keenum, released a statement shortly after the comments by Sankey on Thursday, saying that he understood the position of the commissioner.
“Obviously, the present national climate is such that this debate can produce unintended consequences for our student-athletes here at the University of the State of Mississippi and the University of Mississippi,” said Keenum in the press release. “In addition, there may be unintended consequences similar to the academic activities in all of our public universities in our State and negative economic impacts on the communities of the State.
“Since 2015, our student association, the Senate of the faculty Robert Holland and the administration of the university strongly support the change of flag of the State. I have repeated this point of view to the leaders of our State on several occasions, including during discussions in face-to-face in recent days and recent hours. On 12 June, I wrote to the governor, the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the house of the Mississippi to reaffirm this support. The letter said, in part, that our flag should be unifying, not a symbol that divides us. I pointed out that it is time for a renewed debate and respectful on this issue. ”
The chancellor of Ole Miss Glenn Boyce and the vice-chancellor for athletics intercollegiate Keith Carter have also published a joint statement.
“The community of the University of Mississippi concluded years ago that the battle flag of the Confederates did not represent many of our core values, such as civility and respect for others “, the statement said. “In 2016, the university has ceased to float the flag of the State on our campus. Mississippi has need a flag that represents the qualities of our State that unite us, not those that divide us still. We support the position of the SEC to change the flag of the State of Mississippi in an image that is more welcoming and inclusive to all.