NCAA releases response to Confederate flag flying next to basketball arena in South Carolina

Dec 6, 2016; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Nike basketball on the court at Crisler Center. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Protestors have raised a confederate flag on a property bordering the NCAA tournament site in South Carolina, Pete Iacobelli of the AP reports:

The NCAA has had a contentious relationship with both North and South Carolina in recent years. South Carolina was recently barred from hosting NCAA championship events of any kind due to the state’s prominent display of the Confederate symbol on state buildings.

The NCAA lifted the ban in 2015 when the Palmetto State decided to renounce the Civil War symbol. This renouncement, and the subsequent removal of all confederate flags from state property, was a direct result of the Dylan Roof shootings in Charleston.

In response to this change, some local citizens have been protesting with visible displays of the flag:

On Sunday, the NCAA responded to the controversy with this statement via Dan Gavitt, their NCAA senior vice president of basketball:

“The NCAA is proud and excited to host championships in the state of South Carolina once again. We are committed to assuring that our events are safe and accessible to all. No symbols that compromise that commitment will be permitted to be displayed on venue property that the tournament controls. Freedom of speech activities on public property in areas surrounding the arena are managed by the city of Greenville and we are supportive of the city’s efforts.”

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  • Learn your history and stop making a scene over the confederate flag.

    1) Just because someone flies the flag, it doesn’t not mean they support slavery in any way shape or form and it does not mean they are racist. Yes, some bad people have used it for such purposes but bad people have also used other symbols and objects without it resulting in the backlash you see with the confederate flag.

    2) You had to be pretty wealthy to have slaves when it was in practice, many in the south were not wealthy. Translation, most did not have slaves. And when Lincoln freed the slaves he only did so for the southern slaves, there were still states in the north that had slaves. There is more than enough in the history books if you do your research to back this.

    3) Slavery may have been a back burner issue generally speaking when the war between the states was fought but it was certainly not the main issue at hand that led to war. It wasn’t brought up in a political manner by Lincoln until they needed to drum up more support for the war as it carried on much further than they thought it would and people started questioning the conflict.

    • You’re going to tell anybody else to learn history when you’re going to say slavery was a “back burner issue”? You might want to check the actual declarations of secession.

      I would say please stop embarrassing Tennessee fans everywhere, but we all know there are plenty of you people all over Tennessee, as sad as it is to know that.

      • Have to agree with Vol in VA.

      • I think what he’s trying to say is that the south didn’t go to war for being ‘racist’. There’s plenty to argument about on why the South went to war. Anyone that says it had nothing to do with slavery is FOS. But is it far fetch to think that it wasn’t the main reason? Those that owned a slave was a extremely small %. Do you honestly believe that everyone that went to war in the South was racist and was fighting for the rich men and families to keep their slaves?

        I think that’s the better question.

        There’s so much taboo surrounding the confederate flag now that it’s probably better to find another symbol than to keep fighting these circular arguments.

    • The confederate flag is a racist symbol. I heard all the excuses ‘proud southerners’ use, mainly about southern heritage and pride. Regardless of what they say, it’s a symbol of slavery and racism to just about everyone. Just because some can perform mental gymnastics to justify flying a hate symbol doesn’t mitigate the effect to the rest of the world. You don’t get to decide whether you hurt someone or not.

      Even if it is being displayed to compensate for intense southern heritage and pride issues, people should know what it stands for to a lot of people: racism, bigotry, fear, slavery, etc. Is pride that important to do an unneeded task despite knowing that it hurts people? Because that’s just selfish.

      What is wrong with just using your state flag (unless you’re from MS)? There are viable alternatives, and, flying a confederate flag is very replaceable.

      • Hear ye, hear ye! Tennessee Dave has spoken. The Confederate Flag is a racist symbol to all! So let it be written, so let it be said. We poor Southerners are fortunate to have a spokesman such as yourself to enlighten us on the meaning of that flag. I tell you what Dave, if that belief gives you a warm fuzzy and helps you sleep better at night, then God bless you brother.

        • That’s funny! I guess everyone forgot about States Rights. Long live the Confederate spirit!!

  • First and foremost it was a failure and loss for every state that a war broke out for any reason or set of reasons. Is was a horrible loss of life, standards of life, health, wealth, and property, saying the least. Even those who begged to remain neutral were robbed and sometimes of every thing they had, including their lives. Some of the positions each side had were indefensible. Fast forward 150 years. Today all states have some practices we could easily go to war over again ie. abortion, capital punishment, tax laws, harboring illegal aliens, irreversible pollution, run-a-way population, health care. No matter how bad any one of these political positions might be it doesn’t may war the solution, nor does the position or war erase symbols that stood for all the best and worst positions a society or region supported yesterday or today. The flag might be flown by an individual or by a State. Just let it fly. Inquire about it if you wish. Debate the politics, if any, peacefully and respectfully. Celebrate diversity whenever we can. Including our diverse history. Right now we have a Native American Nation telling us not to take their property or to pollute a river important to our whole Nation. The Federal government is declaring war again and shooting off arms of sovern people, what have we learned? We learn, once again, to use deadly force, against a sovern state, nation, and individual whose voice we promised to listen to in 1776.

  • I prefer the last confederate flag flown in the south, the white one.

  • “It’s all now you see. Yesterday won’t be over until tomorrow and tomorrow began ten thousand years ago. For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it’s still not yet two o’clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it’s all in the balance, it hasn’t happened yet, it hasn’t even begun yet, it not only hasn’t begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armistead and Wilcox look grave yet it’s going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn’t need even a fourteen-year-old boy to think This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose than all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble, the cast made two years ago; or to anyone who ever sailed a skiff under a quilt sail, the moment in 1492 when somebody thought This is it: the absolute edge of no return, to turn back now and make home or sail irrevocably on and either find land or plunge over the world’s roaring rim.”

    • The immediate question no one has ever answered is how a General like Lee with a brilliant track record to that point could be so wrong and so stubborn about being wrong? In spite of Longstreet doing all he could to prevent the charge, Lee would not hear of changing his plan. All I can surmise is that Divine Providence had big plans for a UNITED States of America and that is what we have today.

      • General Lee was overconfident. I think he truly believed that his men would carry the day no matter the odds. I also believe that if Stonewall Jackson had not been killed at Chancellorsville that maybe his presence at Gettysburg would have changed the outcome of the battle. You make a great point about “Divine Providence.”

        • I have often thought of the what ifs if Jackson had been at Gettysburg. Again, perhaps it was Divine intervention that he was not. He could very well have convinced Lee to use other tactics and certainly would have not given up his advance on Day 1 had he been in command of the first arriving Corps. He would have pushed the Feds right off the battlefield. But again, he was gone by then, maybe for that very reason.

  • The best way to get someone to do something is tell them not to do it or it is forbidden. The flag was on private property and the NCAA knew that and acted accordingly. Meanwhile, gnashing of teeth and wringing hands over it is a waste of time. One final thought, that flag killed no one in Charleston, a psychopathic killer did. He is being punished as he should. End of story.

      • Lincoln’s stated goal was to preserve the UNION of the United States of America. The Emancipation Proclamation didn’t free all slaves as was stated earlier. No slave ships sailed under the Confederate flag, it was the Stars/Stripes. IMHO most people recognize the Flag of the Confederacy as representing a time and place in American History. A time of social manners and a regional pride. A few idiots have perverted the meaning and used it for nefarious purposes. You can still purchase Nazi flags on eBay and Amazon…no one is protesting that.

        • The winners write the history and we (the South) still pay a steep price in many ways for starting the war and for losing the war. Killing Lincoln was an even greater disaster for us than the war itself. And losing a quarter of a million young white men killed and many thousands badly wounded from a total white population of 6 million Southerners took generations to overcome.

  • I get why some people want to fly the confederate flag… and more so because they are told not to do it… but seriously, it has been used by so many racist groups/people that it has a much different meaning for many people. Can’t we find another symbol for southern pride?

  • Besides this article… who said this was a protest? I see Confederate flags all over the South. So every time you see one it represents a protest? The coach said it best, Our freedoms allow for you to express yourself in any way you want. Thats what makes this country great. He should know being from Cuba.

  • Racism has a new meaning today. Racism is anything that offends someone. If I want to fly a Christian Cross flag at my house it is considered racist if someone doesn’t like it. It’s kind of like how the word “gay” has been perverted into meaning homosexual.