Timely Stance by Mississippi State's Kylin Hill may be the Beginning of College Athletes Using Their Leverage

Christopher Walsh

Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill was already exceptional on the football field. He led the SEC in return rushing this last season. 

This college football offseason there has been numerous players speaking out and joining the national conversation of racial injustice in the United States. Hill was one of those players. 

But his speaking out is already ben hailed as maybe being the key moment in the decision to changed the state flag of Mississippi, which featured a confederate battle flag.

Granted, the pressure had been mounting, with both the NCAA and SEC declare the state off-limits for its championships until the flag was changed. But the symbol had been on Mississippi's flag for 126 years.

There have been other examples, including Alabama football's Black Lives Matter video that was written by offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood, and fans can expect more as athletes continue to realize the power and influence that NCAA athletes truly hold. 

As for what's next, Sports Illustrated senior writer Pat Forde believes it might be calling the University of Mississippi "Ole Miss" and the Rebels nickname. 

There's already been some speculation and discussion about whether the term "Ole Miss," has roots in racism. There is widespread academic speculation or belief that it was from the African-American dialect of slaves. 

Of course Rebels goes back to the Confederate side of the Civil War. UNLV has the same nickname, but obviously a very different past.

The school has made considerable efforts to try to distance itself from some of its past Confederate iconography, the stars and Bars Confederate flag that was up a lot in evidence at football games there is no longer allowed. The school song, "Dixie" is no longer played, and the mascot, Colonel Reb, he has been done away with. 

But are there more steps to take? A lot of people think so. The term Ole Miss, not one hundred percent verifiable where it came from, but t

Said Forde: "These are questions that that school is probably going to have to deal with here in the coming days, weeks, months, years, as America continues to try to kind of unspool some of its racist past."

More college football 

If you saw Monday's America, Realigned project, on how college sports starting from scratch might look, along with our own reaction on BamaCentral, there's more. 

How would a 12-team College Football Playoff look?

Would it be it be more of the same teams playing for the national championship, or add even more excitement to the game? You decide.

cfp-2020-full-2

Did you notice?

 Has Morehouse paved the way for other schools to cancel their college football season? Decision time looms for schools of all sizes.

• Emoni Bates, arguably the best basketball prospect in the nation, made a surprise announcement Monday and committed to Michigan State. Check out his highlights.

• Lindsay Hecox is fighting against Idaho's law banning transgender girls and women from participating in women’s sports in the state, even though NCAA rules allow it.

• More reaction and fallout from Cam Newton signing with the Patriots. What Norv Turner shared with Bill Belichick about working with the quarterback, and an intriguing theory about why the Patriots wanted him.

• The six MLB teams that may be hurt by no expanded postseason in 2020.

• Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond shared a long Instagram post to announce that he will not be playing in the upcoming MLB season but also shed light on the "racist, sexist, homophobic jokes or flat-out problems" that exist in MLB clubhouses.

 "Black Lives Matter" will be painted on the NBA courts in Orlando when the season resumes.

• Spencer Dinwiddie and DeAndre Jordan announced they tested positive for COVID-19.

• Remember that whole thing about Manti Te'o's girlfriend hoax. The subject will be an ESPN Backstory Documentary. It'll be interesting to see how much of it will include the national championship loss to Alabama. 

For more SI Hot Clicks

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Joey Blackwell
Joey Blackwell

Editor

The flag change was inevitable, but Hill advanced the movement further than probably even he intended.


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