“While I don’t know any evidence of racism associated with our cheering for‘ Gator Bait ’at UF sporting events, there are horrific historical racist images associated with the term,” Fuchs said. “Accordingly, the university athletics and gator band will rule out the use of fans.”
University sports teams have the nickname Gators. Joy is usually heard when a university band plays a famous song, and fans react by making percussive hand movements as they shout, “Gator bait!”
Fuchs said that the “academic year 2020-21 will focus on the black experience, racism and inequality.” He said the faculty would also “review and revise the relevant elements of our curriculum.”
The University will require that all current and new students, teachers, and staff receive training on racism, inclusion, and bias.
“It is high time for UF to surrender and engage in this challenging, embarrassing, transformational work,” Fuchs said in a statement. “We know we cannot undo the lives of injustice and racism, but we believe we can make progress – in education, the advancement of truth, reconciliation and justice, and in the fight against racism, equality and work to eradicate inequality.”