Ron Morris has penned a fairly brave column in the State. In it, he takes on his fellow South Carolinians’ dogged insistence upon flying the Confederate flag in the public square. Here’s what that has to do with sports:
For yet another year, Columbia was left off the national basketball map, despite having an 18,000-seat arena that could host a regional and a university willing to put on the show.
You might have forgotten that Columbia can never be the site for a pre-determined NCAA tournament. Never, at least, until the Confederate flag is removed from the State House grounds.
I lived the first 29 years of my life in Mississippi. Both my parents were born in Alabama, all of my family–immediate and extended–still lives in the South, and I have ancestors on all sides who fought for the Confederacy. And not even I can understand why the South clings to the symbols of a war fought to preserve slavery (spare me the revisionist pablum about states’ rights being the casus belli).
Anyhow, for a state that’s not exactly an economic pacesetter, you’d think they’d be more concerned with bringing in out-of-state dollars than with genuflecting before long-ago insurgencies.
With that said, I wouldn’t want to be Ron Morris’ inbox right now.