Protesters fly confederate flag near arena for NCAA tourney

Ed Jenson
March 19, 2017 - 4:20 pm

A small group of protesters flew a large Confederate flag from the top of a parking garage next to the Bon Secours Wellness arena where two men's NCAA Tournament games were being held.

The group arrived Sunday morning, raising the flag from the back of a pickup truck . Greenville police had the group move the truck about 50 feet away, citing safety concerns if the flag tipped over.

Protesters said they hope to make their presence known to the NCAA. The governing body lifted its ban against South Carolina holding championships in 2015.

The NCAA released a statement regarding Sunday’s Confederate flag protest.

“The NCAA is proud and excited to host championships in the state of South Carolina once again,” NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said. “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.”

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