Kevin Sumlin Proud of Texas A&M for Nixing White Nationalist Rally on 9/11

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2017

STARKVILLE, MS - NOVEMBER 5:  Head coach Kevin Sumlin of the Texas A&M Aggies walks the sideline during the first half of an NCAA college football game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium on November 5, 2016 in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
Butch Dill/Getty Images

This past week, Texas A&M canceled a white nationalist "White Lives Matter" rally that had been scheduled for Sept. 11 on the university's campus. On Saturday, the head coach of the football program, Kevin Sumlin, praised the school for coming to that determination.

"I'm really proud of [the school's decision]," Sumlin said, per ESPN.com. "I was thankful and very, very proud of Chancellor Sharp and our president to put an end to it.

"[This is a time] when leadership comes to the front, and our leadership did that," he added. "We've talked about that as a team too, and our appreciation for our leadership to step in. It's big for the players, big for our coaching staff—it's big for everybody."

The white nationalist rally was being planned by former Aggies' student Preston Wiginton, and Richard Spencer—a well-known white nationalist—was invited to speak at the event. He spoke previously at the university during an event in December and was met by "hundreds of protestors," per ESPN.com.

Wiginton, meanwhile, had previously said he would move forward with the event despite it being canceled but has since decided against it in the wake of the incident in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white nationalist, white supremacist and hate groups were met by counterprotesters. Violence ensued and a vehicle crashed into the counterprotesters at one point, killing Heather Heyer and injuring 19 more.

"There is a time in America that two people can come together with different points of view, discuss the views and walk away better people," Wigington said, per Alejandra Matos of the Houston Chronicle. "I don’t feel as though that is the time today."

Wigington has said he is considering a lawsuit against the university, however, claiming his First Amendment rights were violated.

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