Say goodbye to “Gator Bait.”
The long-held chant of the Florida Gators is about to be no more.
University of Florida President Kent Fuchs said on Thursday that the school will be doing away with the cheer during all future athletic events.
“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.
He continued, “Accordingly, university athletics and the Gator Band will discontinue the use of the cheer.”
The chant has been used for decades by fans against Florida’s opponents.
Another step toward positive change against racismhttps://t.co/O8uGuOjB2P
— FLORIDA (@UF) June 18, 2020
However, some people have criticized the use of the chant, due to its racial undertones.
Black babies were used as alligator bait in the state until around 1923, and the term “alligator bait” was used at the time as a racial slur referring to black children from Florida.
The move follows the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which has led to a nationwide reexamination of racial injustice.
Last week, UF rescinded an admissions offer to a prospective student who posted a racial comment on social media.