Ole Miss basketball was in action Saturday and picked up their 19th win of the season but the attention they drew on the court wasn’t because of the game.
Saturday was a controversial day in Oxford because of protest. Ole Miss basketball faced Georgia and picked up their 19th win of the 2018-2019 college basketball season. Ole Miss basketball was expected to finish at the bottom of the SEC and to be sitting with 19 wins with 4 regular season game remaining is impressive.
However, the national focus placed on the Ole Miss hoops program wasn’t for the amazing record under first year head coach Kermit Davis. Instead it was because of the Rebels who knelt during the National Anthem prior to the tipoff against Georgia. While some Ole Miss fans are clearly upset with the actions of a few players, they have every right to express their opinions.
True, it is just another blemish on the University of Mississippi but the students are and should always be the most important factor. In this case the attention which Ole Miss basketball brought to the entire situation taking place in Oxford Saturday was warranted and the end result is the fact that people are talking about it and we should.
Ole Miss Rebels
This is something Ole Miss Rebels have become accustomed to over the years. In the past we’ve seen changes which were forced upon most of us and many of them have created a riff which exists among the Ole Miss faithful. What we are seeing is simply a sign of the times and whether we can agree or not or whether we like them or not we all know changes happen.
What we are watching happen we knew would happen and over the years it has gotten progressively worse. While the students at Ole Miss appear to have plenty to say about issues this is not something any of these students or student athletes created. They are simply pawns in a cultural game which has nearly ruined Ole Miss.
While on the day after, there are still Ole Miss fans who are very unhappy. On social media we’ve seen numerous comments about yesterdays pregame activities and Ole Miss fans are upset and rightly so. However, before we cast blame on the University of Mississippi, its students and student athletes we have to know the Ole Miss administration is bootstrapped by what they legally can do and what cannot be done.
The right to peaceful protest is something every US citizen has a legal right to do. Regardless of how we may judge the people or the groups protesting, the legal system cannot cater to some and not cater to everyone. Providing the protest is legal and peaceful then one group cannot have rights which the others don’t and this is a perfect example.
What the Ole Miss basketball players did was nothing compared to what took place in Oxford and in my opinion should they should not be vilified as bad as it may have seemed at the time. As one Ole Miss Rebels fans stated on social media Saturday, “If you are more disturbed by what happened in The Pavilion than what was happening outside, then maybe you should rethink your position and priorities.”
The Tale Of Two Williams
It’s weird when you look back at history. I understand the gist of people and groups of people who want to erase history but erasing history doesn’t change it. It simply subdues it in their own emotions and minds. It will certainly surface again at some point probably when they see the next confederate statue. What about those of us who are stuck with history.
Two Williams who knew each other both fought in the Civil War. William Skipper left Neshoba County and went to Ohio to fight for the Union Army. William Skipper would become an indian scout for General Sherman in his legendary ‘March To The Sea’. Union scout William Skipper was my grandfather and was considered a hero in Neshoba County for steering Sherman and his devastating army away from Philadelphia, Mississippi. Yes, he was my grandfather who I never knew.
The other William was William Austin Tucker who was a colonel for the confederacy. Colonel Tucker was a wealthy landowner who had zero slaves but instead opened up his land as a refuge to black sharecroppers and runaway slaves throughout the Civil War. Was William Austin Tucker a racist? Certainly not as he was married to a beautiful full-blooded Cherokee woman. Colonel William Austin Tucker was my great-grandfather on my mother’s side.
Now tell me, what is history, family and heritage supposed to mean to me? How am I supposed to act? How are any of us supposed to act? Many of us are in the same situation as I when it comes to family history and heritage. I didn’t ask for this nor did you. None of us had anything to do with what happened then and very few of us have much say now. We are simply left to accept what the offended few have to say on the matter. Sign of the times we are forced to live in.
So regardless of your views on kneeling during the National Anthem you must admit Ole MIss basketball drew both the attention and ire of some Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday. Despite your personal feelings on the matter they accomplished what they set out to do. They drew national attention to Ole Miss and the problem they were protesting. The thing is they had every right to do it whether or not we like it or agree with it. The sad thing in my opinion is it took away from the real story and that is the Rebels picking up their 19th win of the season. Hotty Toddy!