LSU star running back Leonard Fournette took a different stance on the Confederate battle flag from some of the white coaches at SEC Media Days, telling reporters that he does not have a problem with it.
“Everybody has their own beliefs,” Fournette stated. “I wasn’t in town when all that was going down. I have no problem with it, it’s not up to me.”
Fournette, enjoying speed, power, and size, ran for 1,034 yards and ten touchdowns as a freshman last season. He figures in the preseason discussion for Heisman Trophy candidates.
Coaches such as Alabama’s Nick Saban, Ole Miss’s Hugh Freeze, and South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier all agreed with the flag’s removal at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Alabama.
Saban first replied that he does not support “symbols that are not positive toward human rights,” but later said on ESPN Radio’s “The Paul Finebaum Show” that he does not think athletes are best suited for publicly giving opinions on subjects such as the Confederate flag.
Freeze acknowledged the pride and heritage of the Mississippi state flag, but conceded that the Confederate flag has been “hijacked by some groups that mean ill-will towards some people” and “it is time we move in a different direction and change the flag,” while Spurrier calls himself “happy” with the battle flag’s removal from the grounds of the South Carolina capitol in Columbia.
University of Kentucky’s head basketball coach John Calipari sounded off on the flag debate in June, saying it “offends a portion of our society,” so it should be taken down.