The University of Alabama’s Student Government Association is warning student groups that if they protest against Donald Trump during his appearance at this weekend’s game against LSU, they could lose their preferred football seating for the rest of the season.
Reports this week indicated that President Trump plans to attend the Tide’s Saturday matchup against LSU, where the undefeated teams are squaring off for what will likely be the top spot in the college football playoffs. After Trump encountered unwelcoming crowds at two recent sporting events, the Alabama SGA is apparently trying to head off any potential trouble at the game.
As AL.com reported, Jason Rothfarb, the vice president of student affairs at Alabama, said that there will be extra security on hand during Trump’s appearance and warns of consequences if any groups take the opportunity to protest against the president.
“Any organizations that engage in disruptive behavior during the game will be removed from block seating instantly for the remainder of the season,” he wrote.
At Alabama, like many other colleges and universities, the student government association is in charge of allotting funding to student groups. It was not clear if the warning extended to more mild protests against Trump, like the booing and chanting he has faced at recent sporting events.
The report noted that close to 60 student groups have reserved seating blocks at Bryant-Denny Stadium, most of them Greek organizations.
The move comes after Trump was met with hostile crowds at two recent sporting events. The president was met with loud boos and chants of “Lock him up!” when he was shown on the video board at Nationals Stadium during Game 5 of the World Series. A few days later, he was booed again when attending UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden. In addition to the boos, he was met with some organized protests at both. Crowds gathered outside Madison Square Garden with signs and banners against Trump, and some inside Nationals Park displayed banners calling for the president’s impeachment.
While it is not clear yet if Trump will meet the same kind of reaction from Alabama fans this weekend, some of the players say they are excited to have him there. Joe Burrow, the starting quarterback for the LSU Tigers, said he finds it cool to know that the president will be at the game.
“Regardless of your political views, that’s pretty cool having the president at your game,” Burrow told reporters Monday, via The Advertiser. “Doesn’t matter whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, the president at the game’s pretty cool.”