Alabama student government threatens loss of football seating for any Trump protesters

The University of Alabama’s student government is reportedly warning that students could lose their reserved football seating for the rest of the year if they protest President Trump’s appearance during Saturday’s game against LSU.

“Additional security will … be in the student section during the game. Any organizations that engage in disruptive behavior during the game will be removed from block seating instantly from the remainder of the season,” Vice President of Student Affairs Jason Rothfarb wrote in a letter to students, reported on Wednesday.

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, however, the university’s Student Government Association appeared to walk back the earlier threat, saying it had meant to warn only about inappropriate behavior.

“The SGA strongly affirms its belief in free speech and the rights of all students to express their opinions,” the statement posted on Facebook read. “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, as defined in the Capstone Creed.”

{mosads}Nearly 60 student groups reportedly have reserved blocks of seats at Bryant Denny Stadium, and attendees have been encouraged to arrive at least two hours early due to the high security.

The game, one of the most anticipated of the season due to Alabama and LSU’s high rankings and decades-long rivalry, is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. local time Saturday. In the first official college football playoff rankings released on Tuesday evening, the Crimson Tide was ranked third while the LSU Tigers were ranked second, behind only Ohio State.

Sports Illustrated first reported on Monday that the university was making preparations for Trump to attend the game.

It is the third sporting event Trump is scheduled to attend in recent weeks, following a World Series game at Nationals Stadium where he was booed by attendees and an Ultimate Fighting Championship event in Madison Square Garden where he received a mix of cheers and boos.

—Updated at 6:29 p.m.

Tags Alabama Alabama Crimson Tide College football Donald Trump LSU
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