Ala. Student Government Clarifies 'Disruptive Behavior' Warning for Trump’s College Football Visit
The student government at the University of Alabama had to clarify a warning one of their officials sent out ahead of President Donald Trump‘s visit to the campus this weekend.
According to the Washington Post, Jason Rothfarb, the vice president of student affairs for Alabama’s Student Government Association, warned those who will be sitting in block seating in the student section against any “disruptive behavior” at Alabama’s game against Louisiana State University this Saturday. Trump, 73, is set to attend.
“Any organizations that engage in disruptive behavior during the game will be removed from block seating instantly for the remainder of the season,” read the message, which also encouraged students to arrive to the game early for extra security procedures.
The warning, which came after the president was recently booed at three different sporting events, was followed by swift social media backlash.
On Wednesday, Alabama’s SGA walked back their previous message with a new statement that began: “The SGA strongly affirms its belief in free speech and the rights of all students to express their opinions.”
“Today’s report erroneously assigned a political context to a message meant only to remind students about heightened security and the consequences of altercations or other behaviors unbecoming of a University of Alabama student,” the statement read.
Rothfarb clarified his previous message even further with an email that was later published to social media, according to AL.com.
“Some have misinterpreted my comment regarding ‘disruptive behavior,’ ” he wrote. “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,” Rothfarb added. “Please express yourself and especially your pride for the Tide.”
The messages to University of Alabama students about “disruptive behavior” came days after Trump was booed by some attendees at the Ultimate Fighting Championship in New York City last weekend.
He was met with a similarly unfavorable welcome at Game 5 of the World Series in late October.
In a third incident, he was also booed at the final game of the World Series when a pro-Trump campaign ad played, though he was not in attendance at that game.
While there were some cheers for the president at the UFC event, signs that read “Remove Trump” and “Impeach Trump” could also be seen in the audience and videos shared to Twitter showed a large amount of boos directed at him.
There were similar cheers and clapping during the World Series, though the boos sounded louder.
When he and wife Melania Trump stepped out for the World Series’ Game 5, many in the crowd erupted into a roaring sea of boos as the couple’s image flashed on the big screen and critics also chanted “lock him up” — flipping the phrase Trump and his supporters have famously directed at his 2016 Democratic presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton.
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