Alabama SGA Denies Warning Groups Not to Boo Donald Trump at Game vs. LSU

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2019

TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 21: A section of Alabama Crimson Tide fans is seen during a game against the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 21, 2019 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Alabama defeated Southern Miss 49-7. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

On Wednesday, Alabama's vice president of Student Affairs, Jason Rothfarb, sent an email to student groups advising them ahead of Alabama's matchup with LSU on Saturday—a game that will be attended by President Donald Trump—that "any organizations that engage in disruptive behavior during the game will be removed from block seating instantly for the remainder of the season," per Leada Gore of AL.com. 

But later on Wednesday, the Alabama Student Government Association clarified its message in response to backlash over the perception that Rothfarb was warning students not to protest Trump's attendance or boo him:

Rothfarb also issued a follow-up statement, per Gore:

"Some have misinterpreted my comment regarding 'disruptive behavior.' As with other games this season, Organization's Block Seating locations will be clearly marked, but at certain times, other students can and should have access to open seats. By disruptive behavior, we are asking students to be respectful to all students and staff and avoid altercations.

"My email has nothing do with anyone's First Amendment rights and I am sorry for any confusion. Please express yourself and especially your pride for the Tide."

Jackson Fuentes, the SGA press secretary, confirmed to Gore that no other messages warning students about disruptive behavior had been sent out this season, adding that this game was receiving particular attention given the marquee matchup. 

Beyond the presence of Trump—who recently was booed at a Washington Nationals World Series game and was met with a mixed response at UFC 244—Saturday's game between No. 2 LSU and No. 3 Alabama has potentially huge ramifications across college football. It would be an enormous affair even without any political overtones. 

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