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University of Florida ending 'Gator Bait' chant due to term's racist history

4 months 1 day 8 hours ago Thursday, June 18 2020 Jun 18, 2020 June 18, 2020 2:35 PM June 18, 2020 in News
Source: ESPN

GAINESVILLE, FL- The University of Florida will no longer allow "Gator Bait" to be cheered at sporting events due to "historic racist imagery associated with the phrase," school president Kent Fuchs announced Thursday.

Fuchs highlighted stopping the cheer as an action that will be taken immediately as part of the university-wide review to take steps against racism.

"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."

At football games, the band plays a tune that prompts fans to scream "Gator Bait" while making a chomping motion with their arms.

According to the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, African American babies were at one time used as alligator bait in the South. The museum at Ferris State University cites newspaper articles and imagery from the late 1800s and early 20th century that suggest the term "alligator bait" was also used as a racial slur against African Americans.

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