Florida Ends “Gator Bait” Chant Over Racism Accusation
The University of Florida has ended its “gator bait” chant at football games due to some associating it with racism.
Florida president Kent Fuchs announced the change on Thursday, citing “horrific” and “racist” imagery involving people of color and alligators.
The school’s sports teams, all represented by the gator, would typically be on the receiving end of a “gator bait” tune and chant during events. Fans would join in by flapping their arms in a chomping motion while chanting the slogan.
That will no longer be the case after this week’s announcement.
Banishing the “gator bait” chant is not the only change that was announced. The school will also be ordering students and staff to participate in “racism, inclusion and bias” training next year.
“I am personally committed to removing any monuments or namings that UF can control that celebrate the Confederacy or its leaders,” Fuchs wrote.
“It is past time for UF to commit and engage in this challenging, uncomfortable, transformational work,” Fuchs wrote in the letter. “We know that we cannot undo lifetimes of injustice and racism, but we believe we can make progress — in education, in advancing truth, reconciliation and justice, and in anti-racism, equality and working to eradicate inequities.”
It will be interesting to see how this new policy is enforced at Florida football games next season.