The football star who created the “Gator Bait” chant is not happy with the University of Florida President’s decision to drop the cheer.
Lawrence Wright, who played for Florida in the 90s, famously said “If you ain’t a Gator, ya Gator bait, baby” after a win against Florida State in 1995, according to a report published Thursday by GatorSports.com.
Another step toward positive change against racismhttps://t.co/O8uGuOjB2P
— FLORIDA (@UF) June 18, 2020
Despite there being no ties to racism, UF President Ken Fuchs announced the chant would be dropped amid the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“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 wrote in a statement. “Accordingly University Athletics and the Gator Band will discontinue the use of the cheer.”
— Austin Laine Walker (@TheAustinWalker) June 18, 2020
Wright, who played on Florida’s first national title football team, disagreed with the decision. (RELATED: Florida Gators End ‘Gator Bait’ Cheer After Admitting There’s No Evidence It’s Racist)
“The Gator Nation is a culture, too,” Wright told GatorSports. “It’s not about what happened way back in the past. How about our culture?”
“Me and the president need to sit down and talk about this,” he added.
Wright received a call from a University Athletic Association official to inform him of the decision, but was not a part of the conversation.
“I’m not going for it,” Wright said. “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?” he continued. “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.”