UK athletics director responds to controversial sign aimed at Florida football team

Controversial sign apparently made by UK fan targeting Florida football in the week leading up to the game between the two schools and after Hurricane Irma

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – University of Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart took to Twitter to denounce a controversial sign, apparently made by a Wildcat fan, and to defend the UK football program and the school.

The banner drew immediate criticism and outrage after it was shared on an Instagram account this week targeting the Florida Gators, Kentucky’s opponent this Saturday night in Lexington.

- Advertisement -

It read:  “If Hurricane Irma didn’t (expletive) you up, Cats will.”

Barnhart acknowledged the sign and asserted on Twitter that the university had nothing to do with it.  He said, “An insensitive and offensive sign has been making the rounds online this week.  I want to be clear:  That’s not us.  We will show the respect and care due our opponents and those affected by natural disasters.  As we’ve planned all week, we’ll accept donations at concession stands for UK’s Emergency Assistance & Relief Fund.  Please be generous.”

The fund was launched after Hurricane Harvey.  It’s designed to assist UK students who are from areas affected by recent natural disasters.

The Kentucky-Florida game at Kroger Field is sold out.  It’s the first home sellout for UK since 2015.  Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.  The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.