Southeastern Conference to Mississippi – Change Your Flag
Greg Sankey, the Commissioner of the Southeastern Conference had some very serious words for the state of Mississippi. Those words, change your flag or don't expect to host any Southeastern Conference championship events in the state.
Two schools, the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State, are members of the Southeastern Conference. The last time the SEC held a championship event in the state was in 2016 when Mississippi State hosted the Women's Softball Tournament in Starkville.
If you're not aware, Mississippi is the only state in the union that still has a Confederate symbol, a blue cross with 13 stars, on its flag. The fact that the state has been unwavering in previous attempts to remove the symbol, that many consider to be offensive, racist, and disrespectful, is speaking volumes to the rest of the world.
Sankey offered these comments on the situation while speaking to ESPN:
Our students deserve an opportunity to learn and compete in environments that are inclusive and welcoming to all.
In the event there is no change, there will be consideration of precluding Southeastern Conference championship events from being conducted in the State of Mississippi until the flag is changed.
Just so you know, Mississippi State and Ole Miss both stopped flying the state flag in 2016. However, the University of Mississippi still uses the nickname Rebels.
In 2001 residents of Mississippi opted to not make any changes to the flag during a statewide referendum on the issue. However, the current climate of positive change across the nation could lead to another referendum in the very near future.
Another state school the University of Southern Mississippi, a member of Conference USA, has been informed that Conference USA officials are currently reviewing championship hosting policies as well.