Kylin Hill may be the most impactful college athlete in modern Mississippi history.
Yeah, Hill’s been a good player for the Bulldogs. He rushed for 2,535 yards in three-plus seasons and scored 22 TDs. But his biggest contribution to Mississippi came in the form of a tweet over the summer.
The Columbus, Mississippi, native posted a message on June 22 that he wouldn’t represent the state any longer until the state flag featuring the Confederate flag was changed. He made the claim while quoting the state’s Republican governor, who didn’t support changing the flag at the time.
Hill issued that tweet on the heels of a season where he had 1,350 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. He entered 2020 as one of the best offensive players in the state. His words had impact. And that impact immediately showed.
His tweet came four days after the SEC said the state should change its flag. With pushes from the SEC and Hill, the efforts to find a new flag for the state accelerated. Athletes from both Mississippi and Mississippi State — along with their new coaches Lane Kiffin and Mike Leach — even went to the state capitol to show their support for a change.
A week after Hill’s tweet, state legislators passed a bill to change the flag and it was officially approved by voters in November. Does that happen without Hill pushing for change? Maybe. But his courage to publicly take a strong stand against the flag played a big role in the state’s sudden push make a long overdue change.
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