As a general rule, Florida and Tennessee fans don’t like each other much. That’s not a secret.
But when a former member of the Tennessee House of Representatives is removed from Neyland Stadium for allegedly striking a Florida fan, it serves as a reminder of just how heated things can get during the heat of a rivalry.
According to a report from The Tennessean, that’s exactly what happened to former Tennessee House of Representatives member Jeremy Durham.
Durham allegedly struck a Florida fan, who was described by onlookers as a male between the ages of 17 and 20, in the stands at Neyland Stadium during the Florida-Tennessee game on Saturday. The Tennessean, which has obtained video of the discussion between Durham and deputies as he is escorted out of the stands, reports that several witnesses saw the incident go down.
One gave an account of the events to the newspaper:
A Tennessee fan who saw what happened said Durham was sitting with his wife and state Sen. Brian Kelsey, a longtime friend of Durham’s. The Tennessee fan said a particularly boisterous Florida fan was yelling loudly, and at one point Durham responded to the yells. The Florida fan started yelling at Durham. Once the Florida fan yelled at Durham, the Tennessee fan said Durham turned around and hit the man in the face.
“As he hit the guy’s face, almost slapped at his face, he caused the guy’s glasses to fly off his face. (The glasses) probably went 10 to 12 people down the aisle and one row in front,” said the fan, who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation.
The Florida fan reportedly did not retaliate, and Durham can been seen in the video leaving with authorities peacefully after a short discussion about his role in the incident.
Tennessee won the game 38-28 after an epic second-half comeback. The Vols next will play against Georgia on Oct. 1.