The Confederate flag debate continues as news that the NCAA will extend its ban surfaces. Many Southerners in the United States see the Confederate flag as a proud symbol of their history, while others view the flag as a reminder that 11 southern states seceded from the U.S. in hopes of forming their own country because they wanted their own rights that included the continuation of slavery. The Confederates lost the Civil War and slavery was outlawed, and today, many see the flag as a reminder of America’s racist history.
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ESPN reports that the NCAA has put its foot down against any states that continue to tout the Confederate flag, stating that they will not hold any championships at any schools in those locations. At the moment, the only state who qualifies for those restrictions is Mississippi, whose state flag includes the battle cross banner of the Confederacy.
“There is no place in college athletics or the world for symbols or acts of discrimination and oppression,” said Michael V. Drake, chair of the NCAA board of governors and Ohio State president. “We must continually evaluate ways to protect and enhance the championship experience for college athletes. Expanding the Confederate flag policy to all championships is an important step by the NCAA to further provide a quality experience for all participants and fans.”
Back when the NCAA first announced its ban against states who donned the Confederate flag, Mississippi and South Carolina were the only two states included. After Dylann Roof walked into the historically Black Emanuel African Methodist Church in 2015, prayed with the congregation, and then opened fire in a mass shooting, things changed. Nine people were slaughtered in the racially-motivated massacre, and South Carolina decided to take down the Confederate flag from its Capitol.