Before Saturday’s SEC season opener, Florida and Ole Miss joined in together for a social justice demonstration. During the opening kickoff, both the Gators and the Rebels paused for a moment to take a knee.
Cameras panned to both sidelines showing both Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin, as well as University of Florida head coach Dan Mullen, kneeling.
Lane Kiffin, first-year coach Ole Miss, revealed plans for the demonstration earlier this week. “We have an idea of what we’re going to do. I think it’ll be pretty neat when you guys see it,” Kiffin said, Newsweek reported. “The schedule now, as long as it goes as plans, is to do something with Florida. Both teams are on the same page.”
At the time, Kiffin didn’t reveal how the teams planned to protest, only that both teams wanted to do something together.
SEC Football: Ole Miss Protests Earlier This Year
Earlier this summer, Ole Miss pursued social justice initiatives. In addition to a number of other schools, the Ole Miss football team played a role in the removal of the Confederate flag from the Mississippi state flag. Furthermore, a number of players chose to sit out from practice in August protesting social injustice in the U.S.
While this marks the fourth week of college football, the SEC elected to start the season late due to the coronavirus pandemic. Not only did the conference choose to push back the games, but also the schedule looks different than in years past. The SEC plans to play a 10-game schedule with no non-conference games.
In addition to the SEC teams protesting social injustice, a number of similar demonstrations took place in the opening weeks of the NFL. Protests before competitions took over the sports world back in 2016 with Colin Kaepernick. Currently in 2020, the protests became more widespread following the death of George Floyd earlier this year.