View Full Version : Spurrier speaks out

04-16-2007, 08:14 PM
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The Confederate flag shouldn't fly at the Statehouse, South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier said Saturday after the Gamecocks' 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.

On a video of the banquet, Spurrier is heard saying the South Carolina-Tennessee game last year, which was featured on ESPN's "GameDay," was marred "by some clown ... waving that dang, damn Confederate flag behind the TV set. And it was embarrassing to me and I know embarrassing to our state.

"I realize I'm not supposed to get in the political arena as a football coach, but if anybody were ever to ask me about that damn Confederate flag, I would say we need to get rid of it. I've been told not to talk about that. But if anyone were ever to ask me about it, I certainly wish we could get rid of it."

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 the one that 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' head 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.

The NCAA has prohibited the state from playing host to championship events in which the sites are deterimined in advance -- such as the basketball regionals -- since 2001 because of the Confederate flag.

Spurrier said Saturday that no one had asked him his opinion of the flag in the two season he has coached at South Carolina.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

04-16-2007, 08:47 PM
Knowing Spurrier from Fla. - He is an opportunist! Knowing this issue has already been queried by the folks back in 2000, Spurrier hopes that South Carolina comes out of the past and accepts unity within the United States allowing any vestiges of slavery issues to be wiped away. However, his needs for top quality black males for his football program is also within these barriers that may keep top black athletes away. He tells recruits today that you can be on South Carolinas 1st SEC Championship Team! The opportunity presented itself and his Tenn roots disappeared in favor of his needs!
I believe states have a right to wave the flag of their forefathers that died in battle to keep their lands prestigious and safe. I believe a level of compassion should also be given in the confrontation that endears slavery issues. Many whites feel their rights are being taken away. Many feel the flag is their rally point of not giving back all that they have lost over time. The flag flys as an identity of fighting the North not because of slavery.
And please- if you think the war was just about slavery issues- you lead a shallow life!

04-16-2007, 08:53 PM
Many of you don't know the real reason for the Civil War to occur in the first place. it was not directly the slavery issue but rather the feelings of the North -that the South would be getting a ton more votes in the election processes due to ever-growing population of slaves. Once the Nebraska territory (includes Kansas) went from free to slave - the north started worrying big-time. Many Southerners had jumped into the elections in the Nebraska and Kansas to vote it becoming a slave state.
Since Slaves were counted in the population --this would give the South a hugh advantage in the election process of officials due to populace.

Read on:
The Compromise of 1850 brought relative calm to the nation. Though most blacks and abolitionists strongly opposed the Compromise, the majority of Americans embraced it, believing that it offered a final, workable solution to the slavery question. Most importantly, it saved the Union from the terrible split that many had feared. People were all too ready to leave the slavery controversy behind them and move on. But the feeling of relief that spread throughout the country would prove to be the calm before the storm.

On December 14, 1853, Augustus C. Dodge of Iowa introduced a bill in the Senate. The bill proposed organizing the Nebraska territory, which also included an area that would become the state of Kansas. His bill was referred to the Committee of the Territories, which was chaired by Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois.

Douglas had entered politics early and had advanced quickly; at 21 he was Illinois state's attorney, and by age 35 he was a U.S. Senator. He strongly endorsed the idea of popular sovereignty, which allowed the settlers in a territory to decide for themselves whether or not to have slavery. Douglas was also a fervent advocate of Manifest Destiny, the idea that the United States had the God-given right and obligation to take over as much land as possible and to spread its "civilizing" influence. And he was not alone. A Philadelphia newspaper expounded Manifest Destiny when it proclaimed the United States to be a nation rightfully bound on the "East by sunrise, West by sunset, North by the Arctic Expedition, and South as far as we darn please."

To fulfill its Manifest Destiny, especially following the discovery of gold in California, America was making plans to build a transcontinental railroad from east to west. The big question was where to locate the eastern terminal -- to the north, in Chicago, or to the south, in St. Louis. Douglas was firmly committed to ensuring that the terminal would be in Chicago, but he knew that it could not be unless the Nebraska territory was organized.

Organization of Nebraska would require the removal of the territory's Native Americans, for Douglas regarded the Indians as savages, and saw their reservations as "barriers of barbarism." In his view, Manifest Destiny required the removal of those who stood in the way of American, Christian progress, and the Native American presence was a minor obstacle to his plans. But there was another, larger problem.

In order to get the votes he needed, Douglas had to please Southerners. He therefore bowed to Southern wishes and proposed a bill for organizing Nebraska-Kansas which stated that the slavery question would be decided by popular sovereignty. He assumed that settlers there would never choose slavery, but did not anticipate the vehemence of the Northern response. This bill, if made into law, would repeal the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which said that slavery could not extend above the 36' 30" line. It would open the North to slavery. Northerners were outraged; Southerners were overjoyed.

Douglas was stubborn. Ignoring the anger of his own party, he got President Pierce's approval and pushed his bill through both houses of Congress. The bill became law on May 30, 1854.

Nebraska was so far north that its future as a free state was never in question. But Kansas was next to the slave state of Missouri. In an era that would come to be known as "Bleeding Kansas," the territory would become a battleground over the slavery question.

The reaction from the North was immediate. Eli Thayer organized the New England Emigrant Aid Company, which sent settlers to Kansas to secure it as a free territory. By the summer of 1855, approximately 1,200 New Englanders had made the journey to the new territory, armed to fight for freedom. The abolitionist minister Henry Ward Beecher furnished settlers with Sharps rifles, which came to be known as "Beecher's Bibles."

Rumors had spread through the South that 20,000 Northerners were descending on Kansas, and in November 1854, thousands of armed Southerners, mostly from Missouri, poured over the line to vote for a proslavery congressional delegate. Only half the ballots were cast by registered voters, and at one location, only 20 of over 600 voters were legal residents. The proslavery forces won the election.

On March 30, 1855, another election was held to choose members of the territorial legislature. The Missourians, or "Border Ruffians," as they were called, again poured over the line. This time, they swelled the numbers from 2,905 registered voters to 6,307 actual ballots cast. Only 791 voted against slavery.

The new state legislature enacted what Northerners called the "Bogus Laws," which incorporated the Missouri slave code. These laws levelled severe penalties against anyone who spoke or wrote against slaveholding; those who assisted fugitives would be put to death or sentenced to ten years hard labor. (Statutes of Kansas) The Northerners were outraged, and set up their own Free State legislature at Topeka. Now there were two governments established in Kansas, each outlawing the other. President Pierce only recognized the proslavery legislature.

Most settlers who had come to Kansas from the North and the South only wanted to homestead in peace. They were not interested in the conflict over slavery, but they found themselves in the midst of a battleground. Violence erupted throughout the territory. Southerners were driven by the rhetoric of leaders such as David Atchison, a Missouri senator. Atchison proclaimed the Northerners to be "negro thieves" and "abolitionist tyrants." He encouraged Missourians to defend their institution "with the bayonet and with blood" and, if necessary, "to kill every God-damned abolitionist in the district."

The northerners, however, were not all abolitionists as Atchison claimed. In fact, abolitionists were in the minority. Most of the Free State settlers were part of a movement called Free Soil, which demanded free territory for free white people. They hated slavery, but not out of concern for the slaves themselves. They hated it because plantations took over the land and prevented white working people from having their own homesteads. They hated it because it brought large numbers of black people wherever it went. The Free Staters voted 1,287 to 453 to outlaw black people, slave or free, from Kansas. Their territory would be white.

As the two factions struggled for control of the territory, tensions increased. In 1856 the proslavery territorial capital was moved to Lecompton, a town only 12 miles from Lawrence, a Free State stronghold. In April of that year a three-man congressional investigating committee arrived in Lecompton to look into the Kansas troubles. The majority report of the committee found the elections to be fraudulent, and said that the free state government represented the will of the majority. The federal government refused to follow its recommendations, however, and continued to recognized the proslavery legislature as the legitimate government of Kansas.

There had been several attacks during this time, primarily of proslavery against Free State men. People were tarred and feathered, kidnapped, killed. But now the violence escalated. On May 21, 1856, a group of proslavery men entered Lawrence, where they burned the Free State Hotel, destroyed two printing presses, and ransacked homes and stores. In retaliation, the fiery abolitionist John Brown led a group of men on an attack at Pottawatomie Creek. The group, which included four of Brown's sons, dragged five proslavery men from their homes and hacked them to death.

The violence had now escalated, and the confrontations continued. John Brown reappeared in Osawatomie to join the fighting there. Violence also erupted in Congress itself. The abolitionist senator Charles Sumner delivered a fiery speech called "The Crime Against Kansas," in which he accused proslavery senators, particularly Atchison and Andrew Butler of South Carolina, of [cavorting with the] "harlot, Slavery." In retaliation, Butler's nephew, Congressman Preston Brooks, attacked Sumner at his Senate desk and beat him senseless with a cane.

In September of 1856, a new territorial governor, John W. Geary, arrived in Kansas and began to restore order. The last major outbreak of violence was the Marais des Cynges massacre, in which Border Ruffians killed five Free State men. In all, approximately 55 people died in "Bleeding Kansas."

Several attempts were made to draft a constitution which Kansas could use to apply for statehood. Some versions were proslavery, others free state. Finally, a fourth convention met at Wyandotte in July 1859, and adopted a free state constitution.

Kansas applied for admittance to the Union. However, the proslavery forces in the Senate strongly opposed its free state status, and stalled its admission. Only in 1861, after the Confederate states seceded, did the constitution gain approval and Kansas become a state.

04-16-2007, 10:34 PM
I dont like Spurrier and I get tired of all his whinning he does at his games but he showed some guts here even if he did it to help him get black players.

04-16-2007, 11:03 PM
wow nice write up spear! i love history and do remember some of the things you spoke of. is that all from the memory bank bro? the thing spurrier is clearly trying to do is boost his recruiting and get exposure for the lowly gamecocks. speaking as a southern raised boy, the confederate flag represents the south and the good men that died for the south shouldnt be forgotten. fuck political correctness and fuck that cryin bitch spurrier!!!

04-17-2007, 10:55 AM
[QUOTE=rcmcd]wow nice write up spear! i love history and do remember some of the things you spoke of. is that all from the memory bank bro? the thing spurrier is clearly trying to do is boost his recruiting and get exposure for the lowly gamecocks. QUOTE]

Of course it is from my memory bank- Spark and I was there to capture every minute! As far as Spurrier- exactly- he wants to show Gator Nation that his snub either from his side or Gators side - (Gators had already snared Urban Meyer before Notre Dame could get him!) really allowed him to have a much greater life and new beginning. Can't fault him- but can see right thru him!
Had a recruit - a linebacker from first coast high school thinking about taking Florida before yours truly came in an intercepted him- Be on the first SEC Championship team for South Carolina! He exclaimed, the kid was flattered and signed up! Stop waving the flag at the courthouse- and top athletes listened!

04-22-2007, 05:42 PM
Well what the flag stood for back then, and how it is looked at now are too different things. I'll never forget the time when I was around the Arkansas/Missouri border and there was a guy selling KKK flags along with the Beauregard Battle Flag. At the time I didn't know what to think, but looking back I'd have to say I was shocked and mad about it. I have yet to see a story or a documentary on TV of a Klan rally that didn't have the Beauregard Battle Flag next to their Klan flag. The same can be said about a skinhead meeting with their Nazi flag right next to the Beauregard Battle Flag. We were a Country united under one flag before the war. When the South succeeded from the North and came up with it's own flag, that brought division, and to me that is what that flag stands for, division. Together we stand, divided we fall. Americans died under that flag, and it's too bad that these hate groups use the flag as one of their props. They are the ones to blame on how the flag is seen today if you ask me. And the bottom line is that there is less and less room for this kind of stuff in our society today like it or not.

04-22-2007, 08:11 PM
Beardown- I agree with all that you have said. I remember how blacks were treated in the 60's and 70's and felt a bit ashamed at peoples hatred. My dad was a veterinarian and I would be at the clinic - it was always a laugh for me and I felt no distance in our race. I did feel distance when our small group was detained in Mississippi and the afro- americans were being called out. No flags - just a total disrepect of our comrades. I believe the flag holds a different meaning for different folks. I believe this thread was intended to put Spurrier in the forefront of getting rid of past injustices but this steps on the toes of Southern History and many folks have already voted their hearts and kept the flag in 2000. If that vote was in Florida - easily would have passed due to the Northern folks who have practically taken over.
By the way Beardown- I see that you are from Ruskin Florida- did my medical internship on the migrants there and Plant City. Graduated from USF.

04-22-2007, 08:29 PM
The Beauregard Battle Flag was in the State seal and it did get voted out back in the mid 90's I want to say. My old lady is a Grad form USF she is from Brandon. If my nephew can get to UF I'd love for him too go to USF. USF is turning out to have a pretty good football program. My nephew was thinking about going to VT, that has changed now. Nice talking with you Spearit, look forward to talking with you down the road.