In response to the announcement by the National Collegiate Athletic Association of their decision to not expand existing postseason competition bans in South Carolina and Mississippi due to their use of the Confederate battle flag, the Sons of Confederate Veterans applauds the NCAA for exhibiting prudence and acumen in reaching that decision.
The NAACP had demanded the NCAA to broaden its moratorium on bringing predetermined postseason events, such as NCAA basketball regionals, to the two states. The ban will not be expanded, however, to sites awarded on merit, such as baseball tournament regionals or football playoff games.
According to SCV Commander-in-Chief Christopher Sullivan, the NCAA has made a prudent decision that simply supports the wishes of the citizens of those states.
"Under political pressure from the NAACP, South Carolina took the battle flag down from their statehouse in 2000 and placed it on a nearby soldiers memorial monument, but that apparently wasn’t good enough," Sullivan stated. "Mississippi put the issue of their flag on a ballot, and even though the citizens there overwhelmingly voted to keep their flag as is, apparently that wasn’t good enough either. We salute the NCAA for finally respecting the wishes of the people of South Carolina and Mississippi and displaying a better understanding of the meaning of the symbols at the center of the issue than those wishing to use collegiate sports as a political crowbar."
Sullivan also pointed out that any kind of ban based on Confederate symbolism is based on a misplaced understanding of history.
"Most Southerners know that the symbols of the Confederacy are not based in hate, as some would like to have everyone believe," he said. "Arbitrarily banning anything because of links to Confederate symbols would be ludicrous, considering that North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas all have state flag designs that pay homage to their Confederate lineage."
Sullivan concluded that the athletic arenas of the South are not the places to determine political policy.
"Southerners love sports, and most especially collegiate sports, since they harken back to the Confederate concept of one state competing against another," he stated. "We disapprove of attempting to use a point of state and regional pride as a hostage to reach a political ends. Political issues should be decided by the people within the states themselves, not outsiders who know little or nothing about those states or the families that call them home. The NCAA should do the right thing and drop the ban altogether."
The Sons of Confederate Veterans is a fraternal organization comprised of descendents of Confederate soldiers that was formed in 1896.