UTSA Ends Use Of ‘Come And Take It’ As Football Rallying Cry
“Come and take it” will no longer be used as a rallying cry during football games at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
UTSA President Taylor Eighmy said Tuesday he decided to discontinue the tradition because it has “become a distraction from our mission.”
Eighmy said the university will also remove the slogan from all UTSA buildings and merchandise. UTSA began using the phrase 10 years ago when it launched its football program. A prominent sign displaying the rallying cry at the university’s new athletics center inspired calls last month for UTSA to end the tradition.
“I have seen this issue raise deep emotions both for and against, and even seen divisive vitriol,” Eighmy said in a letter announcing the decision. “I especially recognize that this decision will be unpopular with many of our loyal fans.”
UTSA professor emerita Ellen Riojas Clark started a change.org petition to remove the sign in the athletic center. She said the slogan reflects anti-Mexican and pro-slavery sentiments dating back to its use during the Battle of Gonzales.
Five days after the athletics center opened, Eighmy said he would create a task force to look into the matter. In the meantime, UTSA posted a note next to the “Come and Take It” sign acknowledging that “there are those, particularly in the Mexican American community, who believe it has racist origins.”
However, Eighmy said Tuesday he was ending the tradition without waiting for a task force.
“Over the last decade, the phrase has become increasingly affiliated with cultural and political issues beyond its traditional historical context. In the time since it was last used at a home game on November 23, 2019, the phrase has been adopted by organizations and movements across the political spectrum,” Eighmy said. “There is no benefit to becoming embroiled in a divisive issue that could carry well into the future and negatively affect our progress.”
A UTSA spokesperson confirmed the sign at the athletics center will be among those removed.
This football season, UTSA will replace the fourth quarter rallying cry with celebrations honoring past coaches and players. Eighmy has tasked Lisa Campos, UTSA’s vice president for intercollegiate athletics, with working with stakeholders to establish a new fourth quarter tradition starting with the 2022 season.