On Sunday morning, a Confederate flag was seen at a parking garage near Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C., which will host the Duke-South Carolina and North Carolina-Arkansas games on Sunday.
Dan Gavitt, the NCAA’s senior vice president of basketball, released an official statement after pictures of the flag at the arena surfaced on Twitter. The flag was not being flown by the NCAA or the arena but by a group of protesters according to a report from the Associated Press.
The NCAA is proud and excited to host championships in the state of South Carolina once again. We are committed to assuring that our events are safe and accessible to all. No symbols that compromise that commitment will be permitted to be displayed on venue property that the tournament controls. Freedom of speech activities on public property in areas surrounding the arena are managed by the city of Greenville and we are supportive of the city’s efforts.
Solid work, South Carolina. Literally waving over the arena. pic.twitter.com/ozphmhergW
— Luke DeCock (@LukeDeCock) March 19, 2017
The city of Greenville was named a host site for the NCAA Tournament after the NCAA decided to pull all championship events out of North Carolina due to HB2, (the controversial bathroom law).
This is the first time since 2002 that the state of South Carolina has hosted an NCAA championship event, and that’s because the Confederate flag was removed outside the State Capitol in Columbia, S.C., back in 2015.