BIRMINGHAM, AL. (WLBT) - Greg Sankey, Commissioner of the SEC, has now weighed in to the Mississippi flag controversy.
In a tweet posted by the Southeastern Conference Thursday, Sankey says that it is ‘past time’ for Mississippi to change its flag.
“Our students deserve an opportunity to learn and compete in environments that are inclusive and welcoming to all,” Sankey writes.
He then says that if Mississippi does not change its flag, there will be consideration of precluding SEC championship events in the state.
Mississippi State University’s athletic director, John Cohen, has responded to Sankey, saying, in part, “We are disappointed that our student-athletes and coaches will potentially be affected by something outside of their control.”
Cohen would also say that the university understands Sankey’s stance and that MSU “is proud to be among the most diverse universities in the SEC.”
“Alongside out university leadership, we aim to continue our support for changing the state flag, which should unite us, not divide us,” Cohen concluded.
In a message from Chancellor Glenn Boyce and Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Keith Carter at Ole Miss, they say the university concluded several years ago that the “Confederate battle flag did not represent many of our core values.”
“In 2015, the university stopped flying the state flag over our campus,” the message reads, also stating that Mississippi needs a flag that represents “the qualities about our state that unite us, not those that still divide us.”
The two agree with the SEC’s position of changing the Mississippi flag to something that is more welcoming and inclusive for the people.