Kylin Hill got the ball rolling with a single tweet. From there, it didn’t stop until history was made.
In the midst of the tumult across the nation, the calls had been growing louder for the state of Mississippi to replace its stars-and-bars-emblazoned flag. Last Monday, one of the top athletes who plays the most popular sport in the state very loudly joined the chorus.
“Either change the flag or I won’t be representing this State anymore 💯 & I meant that,” Mississippi State football player Kylin Hill said in a tweet. “I’m tired.”
In the immediate aftermath of Hill’s tweet, the NCAA extended its ban on holding sponsored events in the state until the flag is changed. The SEC also announced that it would no longer hold conference sponsored championships or tournaments in the state. Conference USA joined the SEC last Monday in taking the same stance. Late this past week, NCAA coaches from the state, including Ole Miss’ Lane Kiffin and Mississippi State’ Mike Leach, flocked en masse to the state capitol to lobby for a change.
This evening, a Hill-effected change was confirmed. From the Associated Press:
Mississippi lawmakers voted Sunday to surrender the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag more than a century after white supremacist legislators adopted the design a generation after the South lost the Civil War.
Spectators in the Capitol cheered and applauded after the votes in the House and Senate.
The new flag cannot include the stars-and-bars but must include the phrase “In God We Trust.” The Republican governor of the state, Tate Reeves, is expected to sign the bill in the coming days.
The reaction from Mississippi State, Ole Miss and the SEC was both swift and unanimous.
Proud of our state today! pic.twitter.com/2PowECSVpA
— Keith Carter (@KeithCarterOM) June 27, 2020
— John Cohen (@JohnCohenAD) June 28, 2020
— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) June 28, 2020
And the reaction from Kylin Hill?
Big salute to EVERY university in this State that helped ….
— Kylin Hill (@H_Kylin) June 28, 2020