|Coach calls for flag's removal at awards banquet|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 14 April 2007 13:32|
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The Confederate flag shouldn't fly at the Statehouse, South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier said Saturday after the Gamecocks' annual spring game.|
Spurrier's comments came in response to questions about something he said Friday night when he received an award from a volunteer organization. According to people at that event, Spurrier said the flag should come down.
``My opinion is we don't need the Confederate flag at our Capitol,'' Spurrier said Saturday. ``I don't really know anybody that wants it there, but I guess there are a lot of South Carolinians that do want it there.''
City Year board chairman Kerry Abel said Spurrier's remarks at his group's awards banquet Friday night caught everyone by surprise.
Jenna Micklash, who attended the event, said the coach's comments came as he accepted a citizenship award from the group, which encourages young people to take on community improvement projects.
Micklash said Spurrier prefaced his remarks by saying the event wasn't supposed to be political and said that he doesn't usually get a chance to talk to as diverse a crowd as was at the awards ceremony.
``I think everybody got kind of excited about'' bringing down the flag, Micklash said later Friday. ``It was one of the coolest moments I've seen.''
Spurrier's predecessor, Lou Holtz, joined Clemson's football coach Tommy Bowden and both schools' basketball coaches in calling for the flag to be removed from the Capitol dome in 2000, when the NAACP started a boycott of the state.
The flag was removed from the dome in 2000, but placed at the Confederate Soldier Monument on Statehouse grounds. The state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said that was not good enough and continued its boycott. The initial boycott drew wide support from inside and outside the state, but encouragement for the ongoing effort has waned in recent years.
Spurrier said Saturday that no one had asked him his opinion of the flag in the two seasons he has coached at South Carolina.
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