Greg Sankey comments on SEC’s recent statement against the Mississippi state flag
The commissioner of the Southeastern Conference believes it’s well past time for Mississippi to change its state flag.
Greg Sankey issued the following comment on Thursday evening in regards to the flag:
“It is past time for change to be made for the flag for the state of Mississippi. 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 to precluding Southeastern Conference championship events from being conducted in the State of Mississippi until the state flag is changed.”
Following the release of that comment, Sankey recently made an appearance on SiriusXM SEC Radio to further explain the decision to release his statement.
“You’ll note in my current statement, the observation is it’s past time for change,” Sankey said on the show. “We hoped change would come naturally. It is time for us to say, well we don’t play our predetermined championships in the state and now, if there isn’t change we’ll remove those the rotate.”
Sankey also shared that he addressed his thoughts during a recent call with the league’s presidents.
“Our university presidents met today on a weekly call and I presented to them what had been on my mind to restate after the events of the last few weeks and I felt it was important to make a clear statement,” he added.
The league commissioner was then asked to respond to anyone questioning why the SEC or its leader should get involved in this Mississippi state issue.
“I’ve done this on two issues in the last five-plus years that I’ve been commissioner,” Sankey answered. “One is the state displays of the Confederate battle flag and the other is guns in arenas and stadiums. I think both of those have significant meaning directly upon our student-athletes, the participants in our competition. You’ll note that I talk about the environment that we’re bringing people into.
“And I’ve listened to our student-athletes, over the last two and three weeks, talk directly to me on a few occasions. I’ve listened to their coaches expressing their concerns. And this is one of those issues it seems we can remedy to make certain we don’t have this symbol that makes it a clear statement to people. And I think that we’re reminded in the last few weeks, because of current events, that there is a reality that we sometimes don’t provide at the forefront of our thinking. It’s fresh on our mind and brings us back, at least for me to 2015 and reminder that our student-athletes deserve the welcoming environment, which to participate.”