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Emmitt Smith Criticizes Florida, His Alma Mater, Again for Cutting DEI Roles: ‘It’s Not Even Common Sense’

Emmitt Smith Criticizes Florida, His Alma Mater, Again for Cutting DEI Roles: ‘It’s Not Even Common Sense’

Emmitt Smith Criticizes Florida, His Alma Mater, Again for Cutting DEI Roles: ‘It’s Not Even Common Sense’. Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith has spoken out against the University of Florida’s decision to eliminate all DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) roles at the school. The decision was made based on a controversial state law passed in 2023, which bans Florida’s public universities and colleges from spending on DEI initiatives.

Smith, who played for the University of Florida and graduated from the school, expressed his disappointment and frustration with the decision. He stated that the university’s president had previously said that the school would not be swayed by political pressure, but it appears that this is no longer the case.

“When I see them destroying DEI for the sake of politics…it’s not even common sense,” Smith said in an interview with USA TODAY Sports. “This is just sheer out of spite and sheer power.”

Smith also pointed out the hypocrisy of the situation, noting that the university is allowing student-athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL) through brand deals, but is simultaneously dismantling DEI initiatives that benefit minority students and businesses. He believes that this decision will have a negative impact on minority athletes and businesses, and is urging students to be aware and vocal about the issue.

“Let’s not talk about dismantling DEI at a time I think DEI happens to be a consequence of NIL,” Smith said. “You get one, they take the other one away. It’s strategic.”

In addition, Smith expressed his desire for reparations from the University of Florida, citing the fact that he did not receive any compensation for the use of his name and image during his time at the school. He also believes that the university’s decision to dismantle DEI initiatives is a strategic move to appease political interests, rather than a genuine attempt to address issues of diversity and inclusion.

“I want my reparations right now from the University of Florida,” Smith said. “I want to send their (expletive) a bill. I want interest on mine. …When you looked up in those stands you saw a whole lot of E. Smith jerseys up there. E. Smith 22s. You can look at the old videos and see how many jerseys were walking around. And I didn’t receive one red cent.”

Smith’s comments highlight the ongoing controversy surrounding DEI initiatives in higher education and the impact that political pressure can have on these programs. His advocacy for minority students and businesses is a reminder of the importance of standing up for what is right, even in the face of adversity.

The decision to eliminate DEI roles at the University of Florida is part of a larger trend of backlash against diversity and inclusion initiatives in higher education. In recent years, there has been a growing movement to dismantle DEI programs and initiatives, with some arguing that they are unnecessary or even harmful.

However, proponents of DEI initiatives argue that they are essential for creating a more inclusive and equitable environment for students, faculty, and staff. They point to the fact that many minority students and faculty members still face significant barriers to success in higher education, and that DEI initiatives are necessary to address these disparities.


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