The Florida Gators lost to the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday (November 2) in Jacksonville, 24-17.
This was the third consecutive loss by the Gators to the Bulldogs in their annual rivalry.
But that wasn’t the topic of discussion postgame and all weekend on the internet.
Gators head coach Dan Mullen’s wife was. Megan Mullen has a personal way that she greets each and every player before the games.
In a tweet that has gone viral, many questions are being asked about the “appropriateness” of Megan’s contact with the players.
At immediate glance, the optics look bad.
This is a White adult woman, grabbing the chests and being face to face with mostly teenage and young adult Black and Brown men.
Of course the internet is what it is, and this is 2019.
Comments ranged from harmless jokes to calls of racial double standards to inappropriate and disgusting sexual attacks on Mullen and the players.
It also stirred a debate over appropriate physical contact.
For her part, Megan Mullen thinks of all the Gators' players as her surrogate children.
When her husband came back to the program as head coach in 2018 (he was quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at Florida from 2005-08), he vowed to change the “culture” of the program.
The Gators had been successful under Urban Meyer, winning two national titles and two conference championships. But the team was mired in scandal with player conduct issues.
Part of the “culture” reset was his wife, Megan, making sure the players knew that they have a surrogate mother in her. The way she chooses to show that is with a physical affirmation of love.
She shared why it’s important that the players know they have a mother figure in her, if they need it, with Jacquie Franciulli of Yahoo Sports.
It’s OK if it makes you feel uneasy when you see Megan with the players.
But perhaps and all we can do is take her at her word, this is done with the purest, most altruistic reasons.
(Photo: Ed Zurga/Getty Images)