Viral Facebook Post Shows Ole Miss Fan’s SWAC Championship Experience
On Saturday, December 4th, most of us were watching Alabama claim the 2021 SEC Title. This Ole Mis fan surprisingly found another game more important.
Walker Sturgeon is an Ole Miss graduate student who no doubt, loves his home state of Mississippi. You could pretty much pick a weekend and you'd find him cheering on The Rebels. This particular weekend was different thanks to some choice words from Jackson State University Head Football Coach Deion Sanders.
Leading up to the game, Coach Prime invited everyone in Mississippi to come and cheer on the JSU Tigers in the SWAC Championship game. "I want to see White, Hispanic, Asian, multi-races in these stands this week. This is Mississippi Vs. Texas, if you can't get up for that, something's wrong with 'chu."
"Coach Deion Sanders' words just spoke to me," Sturgeon said when asked what made him attend the game. "I've never heard it put that way. He actually wants us to be there."
Sturgeon documented his experience on Facebook in a post saying, "Hats were slapped on my head (didn't buy it) shots were poured in my mouth (and it was some strong stuff) and I watched Coach Prime's Tigers win at football while the Sonic Boom of the South won the battle of the bands all night. Wooooooo what a day. All y'all need to get on my level and support Mississippi because when Mississippi wins, we all win. GO TIGERS 2021 SWAC CHAMPS!"
I had to ask Walker, what was it like to be at the game, knowing that traditionally he wouldn't attend an HBCU game like this.
"It's kind of almost a social expectation that white people don't go to this game." Which I can't disagree with. I'd like to say that his Facebook post is getting a lot of this attention due to the fact that he's a white person at this huge HBCU game. It's just something you don't normally see.
Walker talked about his gameday experience from the tailgate to the stadium. He walked around in Ole Miss gear feeling comfortable, stating that no one made him feel ostracized or alienated.
Halftime was one of the highlights of the game for Walker. "I wish I had a way to describe it to my white friends but I don't. I don't have the words for it, they just have to come see for themselves."
Of course with social media, there will always be two sides when it comes to responses and opinions. There are people questioning Walker's motives for attending the game and even accusing him of appropriating the HBCU culture.
"I'm not trying to appropriate or steal anyone else's cultural space, I'm just happy to be there. I was invited, Walker said. " This is someone else's space, someone else's cultural atmosphere. It was my privilege and my honor to be a part of it."
Looking to the future, Walker wants to help spread the word about the HBCU experience. "Hopefully use some of that momentum to maybe promote these HBCU's and this culture that some of the people in my neck of the woods are missing out on."
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