UF bans ‘Gator Bait’ cheer in ‘step toward positive change against racism’

ORLANDO, Fla. — The University of Florida announced Thursday it is banning its “Gator Bait” cheer.

In a letter to the community, UF President Kent Fuchs said there is no evidence of racism associated with the cheer at sporting events, but “there is horrific historic racist imagery associated with the phrase.”

He said university athletics and the Gator Band will discontinue use of the cheer.

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Fuchs’ letter details how the university is going to take positive change against racism.

He also wrote that he is “personally committed to removing any monuments or namings that UF can control that celebrate the Confederacy or its leaders.”

The university will be requiring training for all of its students, faculty and staff on racism, inclusion and bias.

Fuchs said the upcoming school year will “focus on the Black experience, racism and inequity.” He said each of the colleges will feature speakers, seminars and courses.”

To learn more about the university’s changes, click here.

Katlyn Brieskorn, WFTV.com

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.