Former Florida player that popularized 'Gator Bait' strongly disagrees with school's decision to stop using cheer
Don’t try and tell the player that popularized the phrase “Gator Bait” in Gainesville that the cheer should not be used in the Swamp.
After Florida made the decision this week to stop all use of “Gator Bait” during school cheers, Pat Dooley of GatorSports.com reached out to former Florida defensive back Lawrence Wright to gauge his reaction to the news.
Florida made the decision after admitting the school and its fans never used the term to evoke any racism but the origins of the phrase over one hundred years ago are not as innocent.
Wright famously said, “If you ain’t a Gator, ya Gator bait,” during Florida’s win over in-state rival Florida State back in 1995. Since that point, the phrase has been a popular one in Gainesville among Gator fans and a hated one by many rival SEC fans on the wrong end of a losing matchup.
The way Wright views the news, Florida’s decision robs Gator fans of their proud history and culture.
“The Gator Nation is a culture, too,” Wright said. “It’s not about what happened way back in the past. How about our culture? Me and the president need to sit down and talk about this.”
That wasn’t all the former Gator defensive back had to say on the subject.
“I’m not going for it,” Wright added. “I created something for us. It’s a college football thing. It’s not a racist thing, It’s about us, the Gator Nation. And I’m Black.”
Those feelings seem to be a popular sentiment in Gainesville following the school’s decision to move away from the term effective immediately.
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