Having been a loyal Gators fan since 1955, listening by radio, I have lived through the hard years when disappointing seasons tested one’s loyalty. Until Sunday morning, however, my loyalty never faltered.
That morning I awoke at 2 a.m. and heard our own Coach Dan Mullen demand UF administration follow Governor DeSantis’ authorization to fill football stadiums in spite of the serious public health risks posed. I suppose I had fallen for the publicity massaged statements of Coach Mullen that seemed to show authentic concern about the players’ support for Black Lives Matter, as well as taking seriously their fears about contracting COVID-19. That enlightened public face of Dan Mullen was not evident in his post-game interview when he called for filling the Swamp next Saturday.
I guess his vaunted concern for the players does not extend to the rest of campus, the Gainesville community and all of the areas in Florida from which Gators fans travel. Cramming 90,000 fans together, projecting aerosolized particles as they scream “Go Gators” would be the perfect recipe for a super-spreader event.
The University’s expertise in emerging pathogens, public health, intensive care, engineering and other fields has thus far been an asset to Gainesville, the State of Florida and even the nation during this pandemic. UF will lose that credibility if it caves to Coach Mullen’s demands.
Bill Allen, J.D., M. Div.
UF Law Class of ‘91