Warning: the following story contains graphic language.
The Brandon Miller situation at Alabama has laid bare some of the uglier aspects of college sports culture, and they came in loud and clear at the SEC men’s basketball tournament.
With Miller still playing despite delivering a gun used in a fatal shooting earlier this year, the Crimson Tide advanced to the finals with a 72-61 win over Missouri on Saturday. In attendance was a man wearing an Alabama-themed shirt reading “GOATS” on the front and “Killin’ our way through the SEC in ’23” on the back.
When asked about the shirt by AL.com’s John Talty, the man responded profanely, claimed to be an Alabama fan and said he would be back Sunday for the Tide’s championship game against Texas A&M.
An SEC spokesperson later told AL.com that fans would not be allowed into the final on Sunday if they wear such a shirt and will be asked to leave if they put them on at any time:
SEC spokesperson Herb Vincent told AL.com that the fans would not be allowed inside Bridgestone Arena with the shirts on Sunday and that if the fans put them on at any point inside the arena, they would be asked to leave. The SEC fan ticket policy states that tickets are revocable if “user is disruptive, endangers others or uses vulgar, threatening or demeaning language.”
The shirt is an obvious reference to Miller’s legal saga, in which the star freshman delivered a gun to former teammate Darius Miles that was later used to kill 23-year-old mother Jamea Harris on Jan. 15. Miles and Michael Davis, the man who allegedly fired the gun, both face capital murder charges. Miller has not been charged with a crime, as prosecutors indicated there was no evidence he knew the gun would be used for a crime when he delivered it to Miles late at a nightclub.
The case reared its head before the game as well, as a couple hecklers wearing Vanderbilt shirts yelled “Brandon Killer,” “You’re a murderer and you know it,” and “God will judge you,” at him during warmups.
Miller, who called the situation “heartbreaking” earlier this week, has not seen any consequences from Alabama and has continued to play, a decision condemned by Harris’ parents. He did, however, get some blowback for a pregame introduction in which a teammate pretended to pat him down and has been consistently booed and heckled on the road.
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