The University of Florida will stop the use of its ‘Gator Bait’ athletics cheer because of its “horrific historic racist imagery,’ said institution president Kent Fuchs on Thursday.
“While I know of no evidence of racism associated with our “Gator Bait” cheer at UF [University of Florida] sporting events, there is horrific historic racist imagery associated with the phrase,” Fuchs said in a statement. “Accordingly University Athletics and the Gator Band will discontinue the use of the cheer.”
The move is part of a broader initiative against racism on campus. The initiative is spurred by the death of George Floyd in police brutality.
Fuchs also said he is “personally committed to removing any monuments or namings” that celebrate the Confederacy.
The university has also set up a task force to “review and recommend values, principles and reasons for establishing and maintaining honorary namings, both historic and current.”