The University of Florida is banning its “Gator Bait” cheer at sporting events because of “historic racist imagery associated with the phrase,” school president Kent Fuchs announced Thursday.As part of a university-wide review to help the school take steps against racism, Fuchs highlighted the cheer as an action that will be taken immediately.“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.”the band plays familiar tune prompts fans to make the gator chomp motion with their arms and shout “Gator Bait!”African American babies were used as alligator bait, according to the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University, citing newspaper articles and imagery from the late 1800s and early 20th century. The term “alligator bait” was also used as a racial slur against African Americans.According to ESPN: Lawrence Wright, who popularized the phrase, “If you ain’t a Gator, ya Gator bait, baby,” after saying it following a win over Florida State in 1995, told The Gainesville Sun he was upset with the decision to remove the cheer and wants to talk to Fuchs.“I’m not going for it,” the former safety told the Sun. “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. What about our history as the Gator Nation? We took a program from the top five to No. 1 in the country. I think I’ve done enough, put in the sweat and tears, to get to offer my opinion about something like this.”
PRE-SEASON FRIENDLYNigerian striker, Alex Iwobi, provided an intelligent assist to French forward Alexandre Lacazette in Arsenalâ€™s 2-0 win over Sydney FC in a pre-season friendly thursday in Australia.Iwobi sped away on the far side before producing an inch-perfect cross for the well-positioned Frenchman who finished with aplomb for his first goal for the Gunners on his debut game. The Super Eagles striker was pleased to help get the clubâ€™s record signing score his first goal and took to social media to share his emotions yesterday afternoon.Lacazette, who joined the Gunners last week in a Â£52.5 million deal from Lyon, came off the bench in the second half to score Arsenal’s second goal before more than 80 000 fans at Sydney’s Olympic Stadium.Lacazette side-footed home to beat goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne from close range after skipper Per Mertesacker had opened the scoring for the Gunners in the fourth minute.“It’s important that he gets that off his shoulders because you as a striker expect to score, so you could see he was happy,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told reporters shortly after.“But overall what we look for basically is to play at a good pace and develop our collective game and for long periods in the game that was quite good for us.“They gave us tough opposition, they tried for every ball and I would say at the end of the day their goalkeeper was man of the match.”Up to Lacazette’s slick finish, Redmayne, a one-time triallist at Arsenal, had denied the Gunners with a string of spectacular saves to give Sydney FC an outside chance of snatching a draw against the English aristocrats.The Gunners got off to a dream start when defender Mertesacker latched onto an overhead kick off a corner from fellow German Mesut Ozil to put his team ahead in the opening minutes.Mertesacker pivoted and let fly to beat Redmayne from close range.Youngster Reiss Nelson was lively down the right wing and troubled the home defence before he tired late in the half.“All the youngsters did well, Nelson and Joe Willcock had a very strong performance, they are very young, just 18 years old, so that’s very promising and they are English as well,” Wenger said.Sydney made few inroads into Arsenal territory but almost equalised when striker Matt Simon hit the side netting after Petr Cech made a low parry save off a Josh Brillante volley in the box.Redmayne made a double save shortly afterwards and then flung himself to prevent Willcock from scoring with three minutes to halftime.Nelson came close just after the resumption before substitute keeper Emi Martinez had to get down sharply to keep out Chris Zuvela.Arsenal received a dubious penalty decision 10 minutes into the second half when Theo Walcott’s shot hit the back of scrambling defender Sebastian Ryall, but referee Shaun Evans signalled hand ball and pointed to the spot.But Redmayne again came to Sydney’s aid with a diving save to his right to keep out Danny Welbeck’s spot-kick.“We made a mistake, we should have given them the ball back, it’s always difficult to know how to behave, we should have just rolled the ball back,” Wenger said.“I don’t know if Danny Welbeck saw it on video, but on the video it was obvious it was no penalty.”Wenger made mass changes midway through the second half, taking off all 10 of his outfield players and among his substitutes on came the club’s new record signing Lacazette.Redmayne again produced another acrobatic save to keep out an Alex Oxlade-ChamShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Hopes of Michael Essien making a much awaited return to the senior national team, the Black Stars as the 2014 World Cup qualifiers get underway next month has received a severe jolt as the Real Madrid midfielder is not keen on returning to the team any time soon.According to a close source to the on-loan Chelsea star, Essien is not particularly happy with the kind of treatment meted out to some of the senior players of the Black Stars some of whom were treated shabbily the Ghanaian football authorities as they entered the twilight of their careers.He privately concedes that officialdom are only interested in taking all the glory when things are running smooth, but quick to ignore the players whose toil led to national glories.A case in point is Stephen Appiah who recently conceded that he doesn’t recollect the last time he had even a phone call from the Ghanaian football authorities, let alone being invited for the just-ended AFCON tournament.Again Essien believes he won’t be in a position to warm the bench when he comes for national assignments to be ‘humiliated’ like other senior players and so prefers to enjoy his relatively peace at Madrid where he has gradually warmed his way into the scheme of things at the Los blancos.Again he knows he’s getting to the latter stages of his career so he is being cautious of returning to the national team fold where he suffered most of his career threatening injuries. With the pitches in Africa nothing good to write home about, Essien believes a new injury to his fragile knee will effectively mean an end to his career so the idea of him returning to the team for now is almost non-existent.