“While I know of no evidence of racism associated with our ‘Gator Bait’ cheer at UF sporting events, there is horrific historic racist imagery associated with the phrase”
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If you were just graduating from high school, would you even consider going to college right now? It sounds like it’s going to be a miserable experience.
Campus Reform reports:
UF to end ‘Gator Bait’ chant, mandate racism training for students
Despite acknowledging there are no racist ties to the university’s popular “Gator Bait” chant, University of Florida President Kent Fuchs announced the school will end use of the chant at future sporting events because of the phrase’s “historic racist imagery.”
The “Gator Bait” chant is regularly used at UF sporting events. Accompanied by music, it involves fans extending their arms to form what is known as the “Gator Chomp” and is then followed by clapping while fans shout “gator bait.”
The decision to end the use of the chant is part of a larger set of initiatives announced by UF to combat racism in the university community. Some of the other initiatives include mandatory racism training for all students, faculty, and staff and centering the 2020-2021 academic year on the “Black experience, racism, and inequity.”
“While I know of no evidence of racism associated with our ‘Gator Bait’ cheer at UF sporting events, there is horrific historic racist imagery associated with the phrase,” Fuchs said. “Accordingly University Athletics and the Gator Band will discontinue the use of the cheer.”
Additionally, Fuchs said he is “personally committed” to removing any references to Confederate figures and added that he will order a presidential task force to document the university’s history regarding race and ethnicity. He also said UF would end its use of prison labor because it is “incompatible” with the university’s principles.
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