Outside of a NCAA Tournament held in South Carolina, a group of protestors raise the Confederate flag. (AP/from FoxNews.com)
I recently came across this story while watching an episode of ESPN’s show First Take. Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman, and Will Cain discuss the incident and its impact on society.
The full story can be found on ESPN.com. Long story short, there was a NCAA Tournament being held at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greensville, South Carolina. Some protestors showed up raising the Confederate Flag outside the stadium. They were planning to stay throughout the tournament, but security ordered them to move about 50 feet away to ensure the safety of the fans attending the game. According to the article, “Protesters said they wanted to make their presence known to the NCAA.” The governing body of the NCAA had just lifted its ban against South Carolina holding championships in the year of 2015.
First Take took the subject heads on. The main debate for them was the symbolic meaning of the Confederate Flag. Is it more so viewed as “southern pride” or “racism”? In my opinion, it depends on where you come from. Stephen A. showcases his side being an African American male and discusses its history of being a racist symbol and that’s how he views it. I, being an African American as well, view it that way as well. It depicts yet another obstacle that the African American community had to overcome. However, Will Cain has more of a different view. He recognizes it being a racist symbol, but being from Texas he explains its context of being a symbol of southern pride in the eyes of others.
I strongly encourage you all to watch the video of this discussion. It enlightened my way of thinking. There are some who view the flag as a symbol of racism, depicting the hardship of slavery. There are also some who view it as a symbol of pride in the south, free of the negative symbol that some believe it to be. All in all, I feel that the outside of a NCAA Tournament wasn’t the place to protest. Yes we take pride in our First Amendment right, but there’s a time and place for everything and this was neither the time or place.
Heading image from creativecommons.org