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Star Mississippi State running back says he won't play unless Confederate symbol removed from state flag

A star player on Mississippi State’s football team said Monday he won’t represent the state anymore if the Mississippi flag, which features the Confederate battle flag, is not changed. 

“Either change the flag or I won’t be representing this State anymore,” running back Kylin Hill tweeted Monday. 

“I meant that .. I’m tired,” he added. 

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Hill was responding to a tweet from Gov. Tate Reeves (R) dismissing one of the proposals circulating to replace the state flag. 

Hill also replied to another tweet, saying he was “born in this state” and knows what “the flag mean[s].” The tweet Hill responded to appears to have been removed by the platform. 

Hill was regarded as a player likely to be taken in the 2020 NFL draft, but decided to return for his senior year, The Sun Herald reported

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Reeves said the latest proposal to change the flag does “not meet the threshold.” 

“Over the weekend there has been a proposal floating amongst some in the legislature to create a second Mississippi flag. Let’s call it the ‘Separate but Equal’ flag option,” he tweeted. “While well-intentioned I’m sure, it does not meet the threshold.”

Mississippi’s flag was adopted in 1894 by all-white lawmakers. It is the last remaining state to include the Confederate emblem. 

The latest legislative push to replace the flag is the first serious effort since residents voted nearly 2-to-1 to keep the current flag in 2001. 

The renewed push to change the flag comes as protesters across the country are calling for statues and memorializations of Confederate figures to be removed as part of demonstrations over racial inequality and police brutality sparked by the killing of George Floyd. 

Last week, the NCAA’s board of governors announced it is expanding its policy on the Confederate flag to bar any collegiate championship events from being played in states where the symbol is prominently displayed. Effectively, the decision will only impact Mississippi based on the state flag featuring the Confederate emblem.