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University of Florida will stop using 'Gator Bait' cheer

The president of the school released a list of changes on Thursday.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
The campus of the University of Florida in Gainesville.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida is making some changes to address racism and inequity.

This comes following the death of George Floyd while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department, which has led to nationwide calls for change.

For the University of Florida, one of the most noteworthy changes is the elimination of the school's "Gator Bait" cheer.

"While I know of no evidence of racism associated with our "gator Bait" cheer at UF sporting events, there is a horrific historic racist imagery associated with the phrase. Accordingly University Athletics and the Gator Band will discontinue the use of the cheer," wrote University of Florida President Kent Fuchs in an announcement.

When the band would start playing the familiar tune at events, fans would respond with a chomping motion with their arms and shout "Gator Bait."

According to the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University, African American babies were used as alligator bait in the late 1800s and early 20th century.

To read the full statement from University of Florida President Kent Fuchs, click here.

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