Kiffin Suggests Ole Miss, Florida Have Planned Pregame Demonstration

Zach Goodall

Photo credit: University of Florida Athletic Association

There are no details finalized, at least publicly, in regards to a pregame demonstration in response to social injustices prior to Florida's season-opener at Ole Miss. However, one can be expected, and there's a chance that it will be in unison between the two teams.

Mississippi head coach Lane Kiffin said on Monday that the two programs, "as long as it goes to plan," are working on a demonstration together.

"We have an idea of what we're going to do. I think it'll be pretty neat when you guys see it," Kiffin said. "Both teams are on the same page." 

As the NFL, college, and even high school football seasons have kicked off, players across the country have begun to utilize their platform to speak out against racism and social injustices such as police brutality. A notable example including the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans players and coaching, prior to the NFL season-opening game on September 10th, standing arms linked across the field during a moment of silence.

Protests prior to football games gained notoriety in 2016 when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the United States national anthem, protesting police brutality and racism throughout the country.

The movement against racism and for social justice gained significant momentum this year following deaths by police and former law enforcement of multiple Black Americans, including 46-year-old George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn., 26-year-old Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Ga., and other fatal and non-fatal incidents.

Gators players and coaches have been openly active in supporting the causes for social justice and standing against racism, with the majority of the team and staff taking part in a protest in Gainesville last month, including head coach Dan Mullen. Mullen has been vocal recently about taking time to listen and educate on the matter, rather than being ignorant to the injustices that happen.

Florida also recently hosted the Gainesville police department for a forum between players and officers, discussing current issues across the country, how police are looking to correct them, and education on the operation of law enforcement.

The state of Mississippi passed a bill to change its state flag, which includes the Confederate battle emblem, in late June after a push by Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill, his teammates and athletes from Ole Miss, Kiffin, Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach, and others.

Regarding a pregame demonstration, Gators running back Malik Davis said on Monday that the team has talked about organizing some form of activity in the past, "but nothing has been set specifically yet." 

Earlier in the month, Mullen said that the team has discussed doing something before games to share a message, wanting it to "be meaningful without having it become a distraction for the task at hand, which is us trying to win a football game.”

What Florida and Ole Miss have up their sleeve has yet to be seen, but fans should be prepared for an event before kickoff.

Comments (26)
No. 1-5
NubianGator80
NubianGator80

Kneeling does not disrespect nor destroy our nation, our flag, law enforcement, liberty, freedom, or the constitution. In fact it makes our nation stronger to point out injustices so that we can take measures to make us a better nation. If you choose not to watch this game or any other sport due to kneeling, and or locking arms in unity so be it, you and others like minded as you won't be missed.

Gatorfly
Gatorfly

When did kneeling become disrespectful? People kneel in church, people kneel when they are being knighted. I can’t think of a more respectful gesture than kneeling.

Gvilgreen
Gvilgreen

You take the field to play football not to make a statement. Don't shoot yourself in the foot and ruin something we have been waiting all year for!

Ludyb
Ludyb

Please, don't knee or show disrespect. Fans will not come back. Show respect & honor to our nation, law enforcement...

Gatorguy20
Gatorguy20

You better not destroy the first game of the season! Don't do it!

10 Replies

Zach Goodall
Zach Goodall

Editor

Help me understand: Sharing a message of unity, standing up to racism equates to destroying the first game of the season?

Think about what you're saying.

Gatorguy20
Gatorguy20

Over half the fans feel the same way I do.. Hence the terrible NFL ratings.. Think about what you're saying.. And should you even be responding to these comments since you're the writer????

Zach Goodall
Zach Goodall

Editor

Sure thing. Dan Mullen has specifically told the media he's okay with pregame demonstrations so long as they don't distract the team from the game. The players have those First Amendment rights and as a journalist, I have no issue defending them.

Gatorbait94
Gatorbait94

You don’t understand we hear this 24/7 we get it, there a reason ratings are going down across all sports. We watch football to get away from all that stuff. I don’t have problem with people advocating for what they believe is right but I just wish they do it on there own time not while there playing football.

Gatorbait94
Gatorbait94

What you don’t understand is we are tired of hearing it, we get it I don’t think anyone watching the game thinks black lives don’t matter but the point is we watch football to get away from all that. Just want to have fun and watch some football. There’s other reasons too that I don’t want to get into but you can be for black lives but against what we are seeing in sports.

Gatorbait94
Gatorbait94

Sorry about 2 replies thought the first one didn’t go through

Gatorguy20
Gatorguy20

It sure does!

GatorLad
GatorLad

Who cares about ratings? They mean nothing. Snowflakes like you are going to continue watching the sports—it doesn't matter if you complain about it or not.

GatorLad
GatorLad

Consider refraining from the blissfully ignorant mentality you’ve probably had your whole life, and we might get some progress, and we might be able to subtract protests from sports.

GatorLad
GatorLad

Please do not delete my posts.


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