President Donald Trump confirmed that he will be attending the highly-anticipated battle between LSU and Alabama. In response, a UA student named Tori Jones organized a protest near where ESPN set up the College GameDay set. Various students and members of the Student Justice Coalition held a sit-in on the steps of the Gorgas Library on Friday.
“Love Trumps Hate,” “No Jobs on a Dead Planet,” “Resist,” “Impeach," “Trump is Racist,” “Hate Not Welcome,” and “I Hate Trump More than Auburn," were all statements on the signs held by the students. According to Jones, the protest went well as many gathered to show their support.
"I organized this sit-in to protest the arrival of Donald Trump to our university," Jones said in a statement on behalf of the Student Justice Coalition. "Trump gave the University of Alabama little notice he was coming, putting all of our student body at risk. Moreover, Donald Trump also brings with him a culture of systemic racism.
"While systemic racism exists at the University of Alabama, Trump only exacerbates the problem. The SCJC and I did not feel as though we should stand back and do nothing as this man came to our campus. This sit-in was to demonstrate not only our discontentment with Trump, but also our discontentment with the culture at UA that allows him to feel comfortable coming here at all."
While this protest showed that many University of Alabama students are opposed to Trump's visit, this is not an opinion shared by everyone. There are many in Alabama that are excited about Saturday's game and the response by the crowd. Rev. John Killian, the former president of the Alabama Baptist Convention, believes that there will be an overwhelmingly positive response for the president.
“You bet,” Killian said, per AL.com. “Alabama’s Trump country. Try to think of where he could get a better reception anywhere in the country with a bigger crowd. This was a perfect storm. People here love him. I do too. I wish his demeanor would change, but I like his policy. There will be 100,000 people in the stadium, and 90,000 will be cheering. It won’t be like the crowd at the Washington Nationals game.”
The battle between LSU and Alabama will take place Saturday afternoon at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Kickoff between these two heavyweight SEC teams is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. EST. The outcome of this game will play a large role in the College Football Playoffs, but it may take on a secondary role while Trump's visit takes the headlines.
(Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty)