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.”
How did this pasta eating moron ever get a job shoveling camel dung, much less being president of a major university? Gator great Lawrence Wright, who created the chant disagrees
Former UF football player Lawrence Wright, who was a part of UF’s first national championship-winning team and is black, slammed Fuchs for the decision: “The Gator Nation is a culture, too. It’s not about what happened way back in the past. How about our culture? Me and the president need to sit down and talk about this.”
“I created something for us. It’s a college football thing. It’s not a racist thing, It’s about us, the Gator Nation. And I’m Black,” he added.
Wright is known for using the “gator bait” phrase after a win against UF rivals Florida State University in 1995. At the time, Wright said, “if you ain’t a Gator, ya Gator bait, baby.”
“What about our history as the Gator Nation? We took a program from the top five to No. 1 in the country,” Wright noted. “I think I’ve done enough, put in the sweat and tears, to get to offer my opinion about something like this.”
There are no words to describe the stupidity level here. What is next? re-education for people not offended by everything?