Jim McElwain condemns hate as white nationalists plan rally at Florida

By Adam Silverstein
August 14, 2017
Jim McElwain condemns hate as white nationalists plan rally at Florida
Football

Image Credit: ESPN Images

Update: Florida president Kent Fuchs has denied the NPI’s request to rent event space on campus. 

Leave it to the Florida Gators head coach to say what the President of the United States would not. Asked Monday whether he was aware of plans for a white nationalist rally that appears scheduled to be held at the University of Florida on Sept. 12, Jim McElwain quickly denounced the concept.

“First and foremost, any extremist group — nationalists, whatever they’re called — is unacceptable,” McElwain said. “It’s just not what we believe in here. And yet, I understand freedom of speech … that’s what really our country is founded on, right? But we obviously do not in any way believe in any of their views. And I think our team understands that.”

McElwain went on to say that “what makes extremists nervous is when they can’t get to you because you’re true to your beliefs.” He referred to the entire situation as “a bad deal” and noted that “peace is really the greatest thing you can do” when it comes to leading people in the right direction.

UF president Dr. Kent Fuchs announced Saturday that the National Policy Institute, which is led by white nationalist Richard Spencer, has reserved space for an event at the university on Sept 12. He promised that Florida is “developing a security plan for the potential event” while “working with colleagues across the country who have had similar events on their campus[es].”

He also condemned the potential event in an extended statement.

“What we’ve watched happen in Charlottesville, Va., in the last 24 hours, is deplorable. I again denounce all statements and symbols of hate. The University of Florida is a community of learners, educators and scholars. We encourage open and honest dialogue, and we strive to build an inclusive environment where hate is not welcome. While this speaker’s views do not align with our values as an institution, we must follow the law, upholding the First Amendment not to discriminate based on content and provide access to a public space. …

“Instead of allowing hateful speech to tear us down, I urge our campus community to join together, respect one another and promote positive speech, while allowing for differing opinions. These types of groups want media attention. I encourage our campus community to send a message of unity by not engaging with this group and giving them more media attention for their message of intolerance and hate.”

23 Comments

  1. Martha says:

    Now leaving your site because you just turned it political. There was no need to comment on what the President did or did not say. The article of McElwain condemning racism is capable of standing on its own as Gator news, and it should. I was glad to hear him do so, and glad there are plenty of other Gator sites that are not political.

    • Joe Maddux says:

      Off to a safe space?

    • Ryan D. says:

      So “The President” can comment about many things that don’t necessarily matter but when something arises that he should comment on, he doesn’t. He didn’t even mention the woman’s name that died after being struck by that vehicle.

      Adam has every right to use his platform, something he built to provide us with insight about all this University of Florida related. Also at the end of the day it’s his opinion and he is sharing with us what we may have missed which was Coach Mac providing HIS opinion on the matter.

    • South Bleachers says:

      Turned political? More like he chafed your delusional support for the Nazi in Command.

      Gator Nation is rife with dated old people who support this unhinged clown.
      Or maybe Martha is young and her racist old parents taught her this stuff, much like Trumps dad who was in the KKK did to his son.

      Fox News and decades of hate media has really brainwashed you Martha. They certainly know how to tap into your deepest insecurities and lack of education.

  2. Corey T Daniels says:

    Why not tell them NO

  3. Alex says:

    But the President did condemn those groups. Focus on sports and leave the politics out it. Circle back when Antifa or BLM are acknowledged in the same light as neo-nazis etc.

    Ridiculous.

    • Two days later. As for the rest of your comment … absurd.

      • Gatorcove says:

        Alex, don’t waste your time arguing with people that refuse to recognize the obvious. Go Gators. So nice to see that this site has brought race baiting politics into a traditionally non political sports forum.

      • Alex says:

        Again, he did condemn the groups; thank you for at the very least admitting that. The remaining portion of my statement is only “absurd ” because it doesn’t coincide with your belief system. Frankly, I couldn’t care less; stick to Gator sports and leave the BS rhetoric to CNN and The Washington Post, if your readers want to be bombarded with underhanded comments from opionists posing as unbiased professionals we know where to go.

        Go Gators.

        • And what do you have to say about today’s comments? Don’t bother responding. Despicable and repugnant.

          • senuod says:

            Agreed.

            If you couldn’t care less Alex, then stop complaining and move along buddy.

          • Alex says:

            What I care about is a few moments each day to read a Gator Site I have visited several times a week since your created it. What I don’t care about is mixing political ideology and bias into it. However, This is your website and you obviously have the right to post whatever the heck you want. I did not threaten to leave and never return. I did not call you anything derogatory. My end game is simple. A suggestion to Get back to what people have cherished about this site for so long: The University of Florida Atheletic programs. We cannot turn on the TV, Radio etc. without somebody bashing the President ad nauseam. I have a life outside of political arena and UF related news is and has always been a big part of it. There is No need to alienate a segment of the fan base to make a politcal statement; Lastly, before you try and lump me into some “white nationalist nazi sympathizer” please note that I am a Cuban-American. My family and I have experienced reali life tyranny at the hands of true cold-blood murdering dictator, not this psuedo facist narrative that is so popular in 2017.

            Go Gators.

            Go Gators.

  4. KB says:

    Hahaha…. Martha exercise your right to find another site if you are going to let something so trivial be a reason to never return then so be it. This is truly the entire problem when people cannot have a healthy discussion or agree to disagree but would rather bury their heads and only listen to other like minded people like themselves. No wonder we are like we are today because of this mentality to only want to hear or read what fits our own ideas or what we align with. Keep on keeping on Adam whether I agree or disagree with what you say I can respect it as an opinionated individual in America and move on. Irregardless of you political views, as long as he keep pumping out Gator information I will be coming back.

  5. South Bleachers says:

    The ugly side of Gator Nation. Oh it’s out there. Rural Florida is enormous. Tebow scorns you.

  6. Michael says:

    I can agree to disagree with people with apposing views, and I do not push my views on anyone else. honest truth is that both sides are full of hypocrites! Just glad I’m not paying for access to this site.

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