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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Gainesville game day banner causes controversy

Fans took to social media in banner outrage

The Gator Collective, pioneered by former Florida pitcher Eddie Rojas, has grown into a prominent NIL force in Gainesville.
The Gator Collective, pioneered by former Florida pitcher Eddie Rojas, has grown into a prominent NIL force in Gainesville.

The intensity of the rivalry between the UF and Florida State was evident early Saturday. FSU fans were outraged by what they saw in the Swamp prior to the night-time kickoff.

The controversy this weekend was caused by the messaging on several game-day banners hanging around Gainesville. It is typically tradition for fraternities to hang game day banners for home games, usually with jokes aimed at the opposing team for that week. 

This week, however, many of these banners made jokes at the expense of Florida State’s starting quarterback, Jordan Travis, who suffered a season-ending leg injury the week before. Banners could be seen throughout Gainesville with messages such as “Break a leg FSU,” and other injury-related jokes aimed at Travis. 

One banner in particular created more anger among fans than the rest. The banner depicted a cartoonish character hung up, as it is typically drawn in the popular game known as “Hangman.” Travis’ number 13 was drawn on the cartoon figure, and the leg was drawn to appear broken.

Many felt that this banner crossed the line and were not happy about it.

Fans voiced their displeasure over this banner on X, formerly known as Twitter, through the popular FSU Barstool account. 

The account called out Florida fans for what they felt were distasteful banner messaging and many in the comment section chimed in to agree. Fans in the comments called it a “classless move” by Florida and made it clear that they were offended by the drawing.

The post has received nearly 700,000 views, more than 500 retweets and more than 1,600 likes as of Monday. 

The Gators fell to the Seminoles 24-15 and missed out on bowl eligibility with the loss. Florida State finished its regular season a perfect 12-0 with the win.

Contact Austin Stirling at Follow him on Twitter @austinstirlingg

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Austin Stirling

Austin Stirling is a third-year journalism major and sports reporter for The Alligator. He previously covered Gators women's basketball and is primarily covering soccer during the fall 2023 semester. He is a huge New York sports fan and is hoping the Jets can be a respectable football team for once in his life this season.

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