The University of Texas at San Antonio has banned the ‘Come and Take It’ chant from its college football games and other athletic events after a petition denouncing it gained hundreds of signatures.
On social media, critics accused the university president of making a “spineless decision” to ban the phrase. The school’s president, Taylor Eighmy, sent an email to all students, faculty, and staff on Tuesday announcing that the school would no longer allow the phrase to be featured as a rallying cry on flags and banners.
At UTSA football games in San Antonio, a large ‘Come and Take It’ flag is usually unfurled in the student section at the start of the fourth quarter at around the same time that a cannon is fired. The phrase ‘Come and Take It’ was made popular beginning in 1835, when Texan colonists refused to give back a cannon that was left to them by the Mexican military in order to fend off attacks by Native Americans.
In August, a UTSA professor, Ellen Riojas Clark, circulated an online petition arguing that the slogan and the flags and banners that bear it should be banned from school football games. “Referencing the infamous flag from the Battle of Gonzales, this is a slogan that embodies both anti-Mexican and pro-slavery sentiments,” Clark writes in the petition.
Clark continues: “Though UTSA is officially a Hispanic-serving institution, it has been criticized on multiple occasions for its failures to truly serve the Mexican American majority population in which it is located. We call for a public apology from UTSA President Taylor Eighmy and UTSA Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Lisa Campos, as well as the immediate removal of the “Come and Take It” sign.”
After the petition generated nearly 1,000 signatures, Eighmy announced that he was forming a ‘task force’ to look into the matter. Last week, he dissolved the task force and ordered the slogan banned from campus. “After much research, consultation and deliberation, I am ending this rather young UTSA Athletics tradition at this time and will not be proceeding with the task force,” Eighmy wrote.
“The matter has become a distraction from our mission and is likely to continue shifting our focus away from our work yet to be accomplished,” he continued. “I especially recognize that this decision will be unpopular with many of our loyal fans.”
UTSA will also remove the phrase from its ‘digital environment’ as well as ‘licensed merchandise,’ according to the school president. On social media, critics lamented ‘woke cancel culture’ gone amok. Others, on the other hand, agreed with the decision. Others joked that perhaps the slogan could be changed into something synonymous, like ‘approach and grasp it.’
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: ABC NEWS
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