NCAA bars Mississippi from holding championship games due to state flag

NCAA bars Mississippi from holding championship games due to state flag

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The NCAA Board of Governors announced Friday that Mississippi is barred from holding NCAA Championship events because of the state flag.

While not singling out Mississippi in its announcement, it did say that it was banning all championship events from states where a Confederate symbol “has a prominent presence.” The Mississippi state flag still has a Confederate symbol, the last flag in the nation to do so.

“Competing in an NCAA championship is a special experience for college athletes who compete at the highest level, and we are grateful for the college athlete voice leading to this decision,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement. “We must do all we can to ensure that NCAA actions reflect our commitment to inclusion and support all our student-athletes. There can be no place within college sports where any student-athlete is demeaned or unwelcome.”

Under the new rules, Mississippi will not be able to host any regional or super regional championship games.

The decision mainly affects Division I women’s basketball tournament games. Mississippi was the site for each tournament between 2016 and 2019, The Washington Post reports.