The decision by Alabama freshman Brandon Miller to continue with his controversial pregame introduction following his alleged ties to the January shooting death of 23-year-old Jamea Jonae Harris drew intense criticism over the weekend.
During pregame warmups before Saturday’s game against the Arkansas Razorbacks, Miller continued a pregame ritual of getting patted down by a teammate after being announced as part of the starting lineup.
Last Tuesday, police testimony revealed that Miller carried the gun belonging to ex-teammate Darius Miles.
BRANDON MILLER’S TWITTER ACCOUNT DISAPPEARS FOLLOWING BACKLASH FROM CONTROVERSIAL PREGAME RITUAL
While Miller continues to play and has not been charged with any crime, his decision to continue with the pregame ritual was not received well.
On Monday, Shannon Sharpe of Fox Sports ripped Miller’s decision and the pregame move in general.
“I understand that he has been doing this routine, but Skip, once you become part of a murder investigation, you let that go,” Sharpe explained. “It’s inappropriate. Someone tragically lost their life. And to the young woman’s family, I am so sorry what transpired. It’s senseless and it should not have happened.
“But, it’s not funny. It’s not cute,” Sharpe said. “And first of all, you continuously do that. What’s cute? What’s funny about a Black man being patted down? Do you understand what’s going on in America? You think that’s cute? I don’t.”
Following Alabama’s win over Arkansas, Crimson Tide head coach Nate Oats addressed the “pat-down,” saying it would not happen again.
“I think that’s something that’s been going on all year. I don’t really know. I don’t watch our introductions, I’m not involved with them. I’m drawing up plays during that time. Regardless, it’s not appropriate, it’s been addressed, and I can assure you it definitely will not happen again the remainder of this year,'” Oats said.
Sharpe was pleased that Oats addressed the ritual while saying he believes Miller should be allowed to play following the revelation that he transported the gun.