Florida will discontinue the popular "Gator Bait" cheer at school-sanctioned sporting events, school president Kent Fuchs announced on Thursday. The song is commonly played at Gators sporting events as fans do the famous "Gator Chomp" gesture.
The move is part of a larger plan announced by Fuchs for the University of Florida to take steps toward positive change against racism.
"While I know of no evidence of racism associated with our "Gator Bait" cheer at UF sporting events, there is horrific historic racist imagery associated with the phrase," he wrote in a press release. "Accordingly University Athletics and the Gator Band will discontinue the use of the cheer."
The move is part of a concerted effort by Florida to address racism and inequality. Those steps include a three-part mission of education, research and engagement with the community; an effort to promote symbolism and behavior consistent with its values; and and increased focus on representation, inclusion, opportunity and accountability.
"We know that we cannot undo lifetimes of injustice and racism, but we believe we can make progress - in education, in advancing truth, reconciliation and justice, and in anti-racism, equality and working to eradicate inequities," Fuchs wrote.
Florida also intends to remove any monuments or names across campus that are related to the Confederacy or its leaders.
It's the latest in a series of changes in the college football world. Most notably, Texas players have urged its administration to discontinue the playing of the "Eyes of Texas" song at home football games. Virginia has altered its logo, and UNLV has removed the "Hey Reb!" statue from its campus.