Rashaan Evans lives in Auburn–and we’re not talking about Auburn, New York or Auburn Hills, MIchigan.
Evans lives in Auburn, Alabama–so when the five-star linebacker announced for Alabama on national signing day last Wednesday, it not only was one of the nation’s most shocking announcements, it has ignited quite a firestorm in his hometown. Most people thought it was a foregone conclusion that he would stay home and play for the Tigers and head coach Gus Malzahn. It was such a foregone conclusion–in most minds–that the Auburn athletic department already had punched up his bio and posted it online by the time he announced.
Then he chose the Crimson Tide, which Auburn fans see as blasphemy. When you live in Auburn, if you pick Florida or Florida State, it’s a hindrance and if you pick Georgia, that’s a no-no. If you pick Tennessee, it’s annoying. If you pick the Crimson Tide, it is pure sacrilege to the Nth degree. You might as well have insulted someone’s mom, grandma, great grandma and throw in their great-great-great-great-great grandma from the 1700s for good measure.
And Evans is hearing it, both on social media and in person.
“It’s getting worse,” Evans told TideSports.com. “Someone actually put out an article about my family’s business telling all Auburn fans not to go there. We are going to eventually start losing money. People are telling restaurants in the town not to serve us. People on Instagram are telling me how they hope I tear my ACL in game one. They will laugh when I do. They are saying my family is horrible and how they didn’t raise me right. It’s just crazy.”
All I did was commit to a university to get my education and pursue my dreams but a whole city gone try and treat me like I'm satan #Really
— Rashaan Evans (@616evans4) February 11, 2014