University of Florida to discontinue ‘Gator Bait’ cheer, citing racism


Albert and Alberta, the mascots for Florida, do the gator chomp before the first half of an NCAA college football game against Vanderbilt in Gainesville, Fla in 2015. The University of Florida is ending its ‘gator bait’ cheer at football games and other sports events because of its racial connotations, the school’s president announced Thursday in a letter making several other similar changes on campus. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The University of Florida is ending its “gator bait” cheer at football games and other sports events because of its racial connotations.

President Kent Fuchs also announced in a Thursday letter there would be several other similar changes on campus. Fuchs says the “gator bait” cheer has “horrific historic racist imagery” involving black people being used as alligator bait.

Fuchs also says task forces will look into the university’s history of racial issues and whether any Confederate names are on campus buildings.

Also ending is the university’s use of prison and jail inmates in agricultural programs.

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