Sports figures in Mississippi led the way as state legislators Sunday passed a resolution to remove a Confederate battle symbol from the state flag, but the move was too late for Blake Hinson.

The guard entered the NCAA’s transfer portal last week and will play for Iowa State.

“To make a general statement, it was time to go and leave Ole Miss,” Hinson, a 6-foot-7 guard, told the Daytona Beach News-Journal. “I’m proud not to represent that flag anymore and to not be associated with anything representing the Confederacy.”

Over the weekend, University of Mississippi athletes marched in Oxford to support several causes, such as removing Confederate monuments, ending police brutality and raising money for the Boys and Girls Club of Oxford. “We can step up,” defensive end Ryder Anderson told the Clarion Ledger. “We can use our voice, use our platform. Together we are really strong. We can really make stuff happen if we just come together.”

Other athletes did just that, too. Kylin Hill, a Mississippi State running back, tweeted last week that he was no longer willing to represent an institution that uses the flag. And last week 46 coaches (including Bulldogs football coach Mike Leach, Ole Miss basketball coach Kermit Davis and Ole Miss football coach Lane Kiffin) and administrators from Mississippi universities lobbied legislators to vote to remove the Confederate symbol that appears on a corner of the flag.

Their appearance came on the heels of announcements by the SEC, Conference USA and the NCAA that postseason events would not be played in Mississippi until the flag is changed.

“It’s the right thing to do,” Davis, a Mississippi native, told reporters after the session with legislators. “Mississippi needs to have a flag that is great for all the citizens in our state.”

On Sunday, lawmakers agreed, passing a resolution that Gov. Tate Reeves indicated he will sign. A commission will design a new flag that cannot have the symbol and must include the words “In God We Trust.”

Asked whether he had experienced injustice or racial abuse at Oxford, Hinson told the News-Journal, “Not that I can remember.” A junior from Deltona, Fla., he plans to apply for a waiver that would give him immediate eligibility with the Cyclones.

“I felt like it was the best option for me,” said Hinson, a junior who averaged 10.1 points and 4.6 rebounds a game last season. “There wasn’t a real science that went into it. I looked into the schools and the play style, and I thought I fit best in Iowa State’s system.”

Last week, the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning voted to relocate a Confederate statue, erected in 1906, from a location near the Ole Miss administration building. Earlier this month, the school’s esports team announced that it would stop using the athletic teams’ Rebels nickname.

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