On Wednesday afternoon the University of Alabama made it clear that students who choose to boo Donald Trump at Saturday’s game against LSU will not be punished.
A statement had been released earlier by the university’s Student Government Association that threatened to revoke seating at future games for “organizations that engage in disruptive behavior.” Officials at the university state that the statement was taken out on context.
“The SGA strongly affirms its belief in free speech and the rights of all students to express their opinions,” the statement said. “Today’s report erroneously assigned a political context to a message meant only to remind students about heightened security and the consequences of altercations or other behaviors unbecoming of a University of Alabama student.”
Trump will reportedly attend the game, which pits No. 2 LSU against top-ranked Alabama. This game will be the third week in a row that Trump has attended a sporting event. At both previous events, he was loudly jeered and booed. He was booed while attending game 5 of the World Series where fans also chanted “lock him up.” Trump also attended a UFC fight last week in NewYork where he was loudly booed.
Experts believe attending the Alabama game is a smart move because Trump is widely popular in the state. However, students shared their outrage after reading the statement by the school organization and questioned why the university sought to silence its students.
The message from the Student Government Association warned student organizations, which are assigned specific blocks of seats, that there would be heightened security for the game and asked that their members be in the stadium “no later than 12:30 p.m.” The game begins at 2:30 p.m. CT.
The message added that “additional security will also be in the student section.”
“Any organizations that engage in disruptive behavior during the game will be removed from block seating instantly for the remainder of the season.”
Students took the statement to mean protests directed at Trump, but the university claims that it was referring to any fights or arguments among students.
The university has over 50 student organizations, mostly fraternities and sororities, that have assigned seating in blocked areas.