By Adam Brown
Ole Miss coaches and Athletic Director Keith Carter joined coaches and administrators from seven other universities at the state capitol on Thursday to advocate for the removal of the state flag.
Last week, the NCAA came out and said that no championships could be played where the Confederate flag has a prominent presence, per the expanded Association’s Confederate Flag Policy. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey also stated on Twitter that no SEC Championship would be held in the Magnolia State until the flag is changed.
Ole Miss men’s head basketball coach Kermit Davis spoke at the press conference and talked about growing up in the state. He said he recently had a conversation with his players about current issues.
“I could tell the hurtfulness in our locker room…because they want change,” Davis said. “(They are) getting outside pressure from their peers and it is the right thing to do.”
Davis continued saying Mississippi needs to have a flag that represents all its citizens.
“Mississippi needs to have a flag that is right for our students in state and out of state… Obviously we want to change, the coaches want change and the students want change, and they want it now,” he said.
Davis said he wants the new flag to evoke pride in all citizens of Mississippi.
“We would love to have a state that is flourishing economically, business-wise and in education, and for that to happen we all know that the flag has to change,” Davis said.
“(We can better) recruit the best athletes across the state of Mississippi and all over the country to Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Southern Miss., Jackson State, Alcorn, Valley and all the other great colleges in our state,” Davis said. “We all know what good athletics on the field on the courts in our state mean. We have seen how it affects our towns and cities of the colleges economically, student enrollment, national publicity, so we know that time to change is now. It is time for a state that I grew up in to make change for the better and get a flag that represents all of our citizens in our state.”
Carter tweeted after the event.
Proud of this group today for advocating to do the right thing! Let’s push to the finish line! 🔴🔵🙏@Lane_Kiffin @ConniePriceSmi3 @YolettMcCuin @RebelCoachDavis @CoachMikeBianco pic.twitter.com/OnlNjEVnaD
— Keith Carter (@KeithCarterOM) June 25, 2020