Kylin Hill, a star running back at Mississippi State, is calling for the state of Mississippi to change its state flag.
In a Monday afternoon tweet, Hill, a native of Columbus, Mississippi, said he “won’t be representing this state anymore” if the flag, which features a Confederate emblem, is not changed.
Hill, who rushed for 1,350 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2019, sent the tweet in response to Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, who opposes changing the state’s flag.
“Over the weekend there has been a proposal floating amongst some in the legislature to create a second Mississippi flag,” Reeves wrote. “While well-intentioned I’m sure, it does not meet the threshold. Any similar plan would actually accomplish the exact opposite of our stated goal — it would actually divide our state more. I don’t believe it would satisfy either side of this debate, and I don’t think it is a viable alternative.”
College officials calling on Mississippi to change
Officials across college athletics have called for the state to change the flag because of the Confederate symbol.
The NCAA last Friday expanded its Confederate flag policy, saying it would no longer allow Mississippi to host NCAA postseason events in any capacity.
“There is no place in college athletics or the world for symbols or acts of discrimination and oppression,” said Ohio State president Michael V. Drake, the chair of the NCAA Board of Governors.
Elsewhere, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey released a statement saying it is “past time for change to be made to the flag” and threatened to pull any conference championship events from the state.
“Our students deserve an opportunity to learn and compete in environments that are inclusive and welcoming to all,” Sankey said. “In the event there is no change, there will be consideration of precluding Southeastern Conference championship events from being conducted in the state of Mississippi until the state flag is changed.”
On Monday, Conference USA took it a step further by officially prohibiting conference championship events from taking place in Mississippi “until the confederate emblem is removed from the state flag.”
“Providing non-discriminatory, welcoming and respectful championship experiences for all of our student-athletes is paramount,” C-USA commissioner Judy MacLeod said.
Mississippi State, like other public universities in the state, stopped flying the flag on campus in 2016.
Hill the latest college football player to speak up
Hill, the leading returning rusher in the SEC, is the latest in a string of college football players to speak up and demand change regarding social issues.
Most notably, Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard called out his head coach, Mike Gundy, and said he would not participate in team activities after Gundy wore a One America News Network T-shirt. OAN, a far right-wing outlet, is known for pushing conspiracy theories and had a host call the Black Lives Matter movement a “farce.”
Other college football players to speak out for change on a variety of issues include Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond, Florida State defensive lineman Marvin Wilson, several players at Texas and dozens of players at Iowa.
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