A number of Ole Miss basketball players knelt during a performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” before their game against Georgia on Saturday. Their silent protest occurred as two pro-Confederacy groups staged a rally in Oxford and marched to campus. The Mississippi Clarion Ledger reports that those groups, Confederate 901 and The Hiwaymen, were rallying against the university distancing itself from Confederate mascots and imagery.
Ole Miss retired “Colonel Reb,” its Confederacy-themed mascot, in 2003. The school also stopped flying the Mississippi state flag in 2015 due to its Confederate iconography. In a Facebook post, Confederate 901 said its intention for the rally was to “draw a line in the sand” against “political correctness.”