Monday, 20 March 2017

NCAA Mixes Sports and Politics

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After a hiatus of more than 10 years, during which time the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) refused to hold championship events in South Carolina because the Confederate flag was not removed from the statehouse grounds in Columbia, an NCAA-sponsored event was held in Greenville, South Carolina. The state was finally taken off the NCAA’s “bad list” when the “offending” Confederate flag was removed in from the grounds of the South Carolina Capitol in July 2015.

The state did not take down the flag in order to be considered for hosting a sport event sponsored by the NCAA, however. The state removed the flag a few weeks after Dylann Roof murdered nine people in a historically black church in Charleston. After the killings, it was discovered that Roof had posed on social media with the “battle flag” used during the Civil War by some Confederate forces.

Pro-Confederate flag protesters proudly waved the battle flag in the back of a pickup truck located next to the arena where some NCAA basketball games were to be played. The truck was parked on the top level of a parking garage.

Greenville police directed the protesters to move their truck back about 50 feet, claiming that the flag could tip over, and fall on the crowds below.

The NCAA praised the city of Greenville, saying, “Freedom of speech activities on public property in areas surrounding the area are managed by the city of Greenville and we are supportive of the city’s efforts.”

Ironically, the NCAA games were originally slated to be held in neighboring North Carolina, in Greensboro, but the NCAA has now blackballed that state for political reasons. In the North Carolina case, the Confederate flag was not the issue, but rather a North Carolina law drew the ire of the NCAA. The law required “transgender” people to use public restrooms corresponding to the sex found on their birth certificate.

Since South Carolina has now bent the knee to the dictates of the NCAA, they were rewarded with a contest between Arkansas and North Carolina. Dan Gavitt, senior vice president of basketball for the NCAA said, “The NCAA is proud and excited to host championships in the state of South Carolina once again. We are committed to assuring that our events are safe accessible to all. No symbols that compromise that commitment will be permitted to be displayed on venue property that the tournament controls."

One must ask, “Where does the NCAA draw their line of political correctness?” They would certainly argue that the presence of a Confederate flag, or making sure that boys can use girls’ showers are exceptional reasons to punish states. And whose political viewpoint prevails? Is everything — even sports — now expected to take a political viewpoint shared by certain political elites?

At the University of Oklahoma, a professor even called campus police after being handed a Christian tract!

In the South Carolina case, the Confederate flag was considered so “offensive” that the NCAA felt compelled to intervene in the internal politics of that state. What is next? Is there a chance that the NCAA will order that all battle flags, whether on public or private property, be removed before they grant a state a basketball game?

After all, the American flag is “offensive” to some radicals. After the tragic shooting in the Charleston church, Governor Nikki Haley quickly led an effort to take the Confederate battle flag down from the Capitol grounds. Some have even advocated digging up Confederate heroes out of public parks.

In California, a middle-school teacher was even forced to resign because he used a Confederate flag in a history lesson — about the Civil War.

As “Confederate” symbols came under assault, many warned that elimination of all Confederate heritage symbols was not the ultimate goal of those calling for their removal, predicting that the U.S. flag and other American symbols of national pride would soon be under attack.

Since then, some have even called for the removal of the statue of Andrew Jackson in Jackson Square in New Orleans. Jackson, of course, was the hero of the Battle of New Orleans, in which he led a rag-tag American army to victory over British Redcoats, who were fresh from defeating Napoleon. The blunt truth is, had it not been for Jackson, there probably would not even be an American city of New Orleans, where the state is now located.

Now, a college in Amherst, Massachusetts, (Hampshire College) has even removed the American flag as offensive.

What will be the next target of the crowd that runs the NCAA? Will the National Anthem be excised from pre-game activities — after all, some see it as “offensive.”

The truth is that this will not stop with the battle flag, and it won’t stop with opening girls’ showers up to “transgender” boys. New sources of “offense” will be discovered by the NCAA, until the day comes that states tell the NCAA to take their ball and go home.

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