Somewhere in Oxford, Miss., University of Mississippi administrators and athletics department staffers are wringing their hands.
A Ku Klux Klan group is planning a protest Saturday morning before the Ole Miss Rebels' big football game against Louisiana State University, the Daily Mississippian reports. The Mississippi White Knights hope their rally will force University of Mississippi Chancellor Dan Jones to reconsider banning the school band's playing of "From Dixie With Love." Jones asked the band to stop playing the song after members of the Ole Miss Stadium crowd were heard chanting "The South will rise again" as the song finished, according to the Associated Press.
The White Knights say the protest will be peaceful and brief.
"We'll be there with robes on, it will probably just be a silent protest," KKK member Shane Tate tells the Daily Mississippian. "We don't believe in hurting anybody, and we're not going to come up there with guns and ammo, but we will defend ourselves if we have to."
The university seems chiefly concerned with safety during the protest, which is slated to last about an hour.
"I think the biggest problem could possibly come from other people, not the protesters," Ole Miss Police Chief Calvin Sellers tells the Daily Mississippian. "I think that other people will be upset with their point of view and try to out-shout them. Let them come and have their speech and then be on their way.
"While we don't agree with their point of view, they do have the right of free speech. We're just going to make sure that no one gets hurt. We don't want people fighting and throwing stuff."
What the Daily Mississippian report doesn't mention is the effect the protest could have on sports recruits. Ole Miss is hosting LSU in a game that is sure to draw a huge audience, both live and on television.
"Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt must be so excited about this weekend," Yahoo sports writer Dan Wetzel wrote on Twitter. "Nothing helps recruiting like an old-fashioned Klan rally."
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