Republican John Moore, a Mississippi state representative who supports the state flag, said the Confederate emblem should be no more offensive to anyone than a picture of a cotton ball on a T-shirt.
“I’d almost be willing to tell the SEC to take their tournament wherever they want to do it,” said Moore, whose district is near Trustmark Park in Pearl, a suburb of Jackson, which is expected to bid on the tournament. “We’re not going to let them dictate to us what our flag looks like.”
Athletic directors from the 12 SEC schools are expected to decide in December which city will host the baseball tournament starting in 2012, Mattox said. Pearl is one of seven cities expected to bid. The tournament has been in Hoover, Ala., since 1998 and remains there through next spring.
Derrick Johnson, president of the Mississippi NAACP, said Tuesday he’ll ask the SEC not to host tournaments in Mississippi because of the flag.
“We would like for all sport entities to continue not to support any state that would brandish the Confederate emblem, which is an offensive emblem for African-Americans,” Johnson said.
Five cities have already submitted bids to host starting in 2012 — Memphis, Tenn.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Duluth, Ga.; Hoover and Montgomery, Ala.