Jun 19, 2020 - Sports

NCAA bans Mississippi championships over Confederate symbol in state flag

Mississippi state flag

Mississippi's state flag is the only one in the U.S. to include the Confederate battle flag. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

The NCAA will no longer hold championship events in Mississippi, due to the Confederate symbol's "prominent presence" in the state flag, the association announced Friday.

The big picture: The NCAA's decision expands its 2001 rule on the Confederate flag, which banned states from hosting events like the the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament, but granted exceptions to teams based on tournament seeding or ranking, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: NASCAR announced last week that it will ban the display of the Confederate flag at all of its events and properties.

  • SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey warned on Thursday that, "It is past time for change to be made to the flag of the State of Mississippi. Our students deserve an opportunity to learn and compete in environments that are inclusive and welcoming to all."

What they're saying: “There is no place in college athletics or the world for symbols or acts of discrimination and oppression,” Michael Drake, chair of the NCAA board and Ohio State University president, said in a statement.

  • “We must continually evaluate ways to protect and enhance the championship experience for college athletes. Expanding the Confederate flag policy to all championships is an important step by the NCAA to further provide a quality experience for all participants and fans," Drake added.

Go deeper: Confederate monuments become flashpoints in protests against racism

Go deeper