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Mitch Barnhart responds to offensive “Hurricane Irma” sign gone viral

There is a handmade sign (presumably made by a UK student) circulating the internet this week and it is not a good look for Big Blue Nation.

The sign — which was shared on SnapChat but hasn’t been spotted on campus, to my knowledge — reads, “If Hurricane Irma didn’t F(UK) you up, Cats will.”

Needless to say, it’s a little too far out of bounds, given the recent destruction down in Florida.

The photo of the sign made it’s way down to the Gators locker room and many of the Florida players are talking about it on social media. Today, UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart felt the need to address it on Twitter, reminding everyone that UK is accepting donations for hurricane relief at Saturday’s game, and “that’s not us.”

Now I’m not the sign police, nor do I have a lot of room to talk because I’ve been known to throw some insults around myself — but let’s stick to the felony references in our pre-Florida game signage and leave the hurricane stuff aside. I feel like that’s a good middle ground for our Florida zingers: more suspension digs and naked shark huggers; fewer natural disaster jokes.

And on that note, let’s beat Florida.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

51 Comments for Mitch Barnhart responds to offensive “Hurricane Irma” sign gone viral

  1. 2Dogs
    10:19 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

    Old man rant here. That’s what I hate about the internet. Everything said or done can now get made available to the masses. Things that 20 years ago you’d never hear about. And a university AD has to respond to it. This is a douche thing that somebody did, no doubt, but I don’t think it reflects on UK fans in general. Go cats and blessings to the people of Florida.

    • ClutchCargo
      10:31 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

      I want to disagree, but you are absolutely right. I’m just glad the stupid stuff I did when I was a college student didn’t “go viral.”

    • TBW3011
      1:57 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

      Agreed. This actually doesn’t embarrass or reflect on me in any way. Why? I’m not responsible for something I had nothing to with at all.

    • EdC
      5:50 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

      Exactly this.

      Literally anybody can make a horrific sign and tweet it out, put it on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and get the right set of eyes on it then it’s out to millions. I’m not a Mitch fan but how in the world an individual UK fan from heaven knows where posting a goofy poster is something he should deal with is beyond me.

  2. fairweather
    10:22 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

    We traveled to USC with a chip on our shoulder with the help of bulletin board material. We are providing the same to the Gators. Be classy BBN.

  3. Irwin R. Fletcher
    10:31 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

    Utterly disappointing. However, not surprising.

    Please accept our apologies, Florida.

    • UKPROF
      4:04 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

      Yes, Please Florida, accept our apologies. Shame on whoever wrote the sign. In ‘bad taste’ is an understatement. Signs like that can come back and haunt you.

  4. runningunnin.454
    10:33 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

    Disgusting, and it’s already on Saturday Down South and SEC Country, and it will be on Finebaum.
    We are now the villains of the sporting world. Literally makes me nauseated…it had better not be at Kroger Field.

  5. Sentient Third Eye
    10:34 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

    That sign was admittedly a bit funny (especially since Irma was mostly overhyped, except in the Keys, to the point that even most Floridians mocked the over-the-top news coverage), but still, why give them bulletin-board material.

    • ClutchCargo
      10:41 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

      False. There’s nothing funny about the destruction that did occur, hype or no hype. Whoever made this sign is an idiot, plain and simple.

    • Sentient Third Eye
      10:50 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

      I’m just saying, if you ask someone actually from Florida about Irma, you’ll most likely get an earful of complaints about TV news scaring them into fleeing to Georgia or Alabama for no reason, costing them hundreds and even thousands of dollars out-of-pocket. Granted, I don’t have any friends who currently live in the Keys, but those in from Daytona, Orlando and Tallahassee are still laughing at that media-created “biggest hurricane ever” nonsense. I see this sign as being in that same spirit, so I can’t see most of them being offended.

    • ClutchCargo
      11:42 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

      I still don’t think it’s funny, but I do see your point. I guess I’m just irritated that something like a stupid sign has to distract from what could be shaping up to be the program’s biggest win in decades. Go Cats!

    • UK Big Board Update
      12:01 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

      This “call everything you don’t believe fake news” epidemic is getting out of hand.

      The only good it does is show your intelligence level.

    • Souf beach Lou
      1:24 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

      I’m here in Florida and I don’t think anyone is laughing about that storm especially not the 9 families that lost their elderly relatives at the nursing home that wasn’t even near the eye path. I live in Miami Beach and evacuated specifically because this was not an ordinary hurricane. In the past some people do complain when the storm does not hit but I haven’t heard about that this time. I’m not a fan of politically correct censorship but it’s in poor taste to joke about something like this.

    • Stuck on Blue
      1:31 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

      Well, I live in St. Lucie County, and it was no joke. Sure, Daytona, Orlando & Tallahassee were not hit as bad. But most of the state was hit pretty bad. There was a lot of flooding in the northern part of the county, some of it is still there today. They “over hype” the storms, because there are so many idiots in evacuation zones that refuse to evacuate, and they want to make sure the message gets through.

    • UK Big Board Update
      1:46 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

      Those idiots staying are the ones listening to Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones. Let them stay.

    • TBW3011
      1:58 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

      It’s far more stupid than it is bulletin board material IMO. That sign will have ZERO impact on the game.

    • MattyBangsPCResponse
      4:02 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

      I agree about it not being a laughing matter at all. It is very serious, but who on earth is offended by a sign a college kid made for a silly game. On top of that, if they are offended, how has it impacted their life in anyway? They have larger problems to deal with like the clean up of their state than signs that are made about the disaster by college kids. Normally, we say give the person a break, they are just a kid…… Why is it any different here?

    • UK Big Board Update
      4:17 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

      Why are you still here? $$$$$$$$$

  6. kyjay1988
    10:38 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

    I could care less about a sign their college kids what expect. What matters is what the football team does Saturday. it seems to me there are more important things to do stories on then a sign I don’t understand why media is blowing this up.

    • Booby Petrino
      10:44 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

      Good grief, those sentences…this whole paragraph hurts they eyes.

    • Booby Petrino
      10:45 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

      ha ha ha hurts the eyes. You probably liked ‘they’ better anyway.

  7. catsfan27
    10:40 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

    Bad Look. #1 is definitely right. Prayers out to Irma and Harvey victims everywhere.

  8. Rabbi Li
    10:47 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

    I’m a UK alumni and live in Tampa Bay. No sport fan is upset about this.

    It’s the other people who see it. Bless their hearts.

  9. Rabbi Li
    10:54 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

    I remember sitting in Gainesville in the 1990’s watching people in the crowd throwing hundreds of oranges at Kentucky players throughout the game.

    The police watched (and smiled). The stadium staff looked the other way.

    The Kentucky coaching staff was livid but it made no difference. The Kentucky team had to keep their helmets on and huddle close to the field to prevent.

    I’m pretty sure we get a pass on this.

    • Rabbi Li
      11:17 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

      The Florida Coach nor AD were even asked about the oranges or the beer bottles after the game.

      The media + admin authority presentation was much more honest back then. They knew it happened. Everyone knew it happened. They knew there was nothing that would stop it completely. So it was the cops who only did something if someone was naked running across the field.

      The local media weren’t trying to compete with bloggers, youtube, & facebook. The Admin ‘controlled the narrative’ as they picked the media members they’d allow in and wouldn’t be asked the question.

      Now the media + admin authority presentation is this fictional facade where they act like this is some outlier. As if the person who created the sign couldn’t have been over 90% of the current 17 – 30+ year old student population. The Admin is feels they have to respond because they ‘want to control’ the narrative.

      Barnfart did what he felt was right. Which in turn makes some sign creator an instant moviestar on the underground FU scene (as he gets 10,000,000 more people seeing it now that Barnfart pointed at it).

  10. Sentient Third Eye
    10:57 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

    The more I think about it, this is not about avoiding insult to anyone. This is about Barnhardt, as UK’s public face, being forced to “virtue signal” that he submits to the will of the social media lynch mob who (very) arbitrarily decide what is offensive these days. This is why white actors give up roles just because someone online discovered that the original character was Asian or why skinny chicks are forced to apologize for posting pictures of themselves in their undies because not everyone is thin enough to look that good without pants. This is the only currently socially-accepted form of bullying, essentially.

    • bhb71
      11:23 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

      Lol bullying? Really? You poor soul, you have to stick to Florida Man jokes rather than make hurricane jokes or some people will call you a meanie, are you gonna be okay?

      What a stupid hill to die on. Your “but muh freeze peach” argument doesn’t apply in the court of public opinion, and if you haven’t figured that out yet, you’re not gonna have a fun time in the real world.

  11. Catlogic15
    11:00 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

    They’ve beat us 30 years straight. The fool that made that sign is incredibly stupid.

  12. Rabbi Li
    11:02 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

    I remember ducking a beer bottle in the parking lot as we walked out of that Stadium. I also watched a fellow Kentucky fan get half his ear taken off from one (he was not so lucky).

    This war didn’t start yesterday and there is/has been bad blood for a long time.

    You don’t see it like you do with Rick ‘Sypher’ Pitino and the Louisville Prison Reformation Cadets but it’s been there all along.

  13. MattyBangsPCResponse
    11:06 am September 21, 2017 Permalink

    ukrecruitingblog seems to be the only place I can go to get purely sports news. If you are looking for purely sports news, with no political slant, please go support this site.

    MSKSR: Thanks for ruining UK sports by using it as vehicle to get your biased political, agenda driven messaging across.

    • UK Big Board Update
      12:04 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

      Bye. Thanks for stopping in.

    • MattyBangsPCResponse
      12:14 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

      No problem bud. Thanks for adding to the conversation.

    • katfan33
      12:39 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

      Haha!!! Stop reading KSR. Pretty simple. You should fun. 🙄

    • UK Big Board Update
      1:44 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

      Matt appreciates your clicks. $$$$$$$$$$$$$

    • UK Big Board Update
      2:32 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

      Conservative snowflake is triggered. 😢

    • Mc12
      3:00 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

      I actually agree that I’ve been spending more time on their site too. Just my opinion. It’s really two things. One, they have a lot of good content, and two in general, I’ve been on social media sites less as things have become more political because it’s just becoming too much. People are becoming way too sensitive and the media bias and divisiveness on both sides added on to that just brings way too much negativity and complaining. It’s nice sometimes to stay away from the massive amount of opinions shared on social media from time-to-time.

    • UK Big Board Update
      3:26 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

      If this site was posting pro-republican content, you crybabies wouldn’t say anything about it at all.

      #FreedomOfSpeech #OnlyWhenItDoesntPissYouOff

  14. BigBlueSkyDog
    12:24 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

    The dope who made this sign doesn’t realize that there are a lot of BBN who live in Florida.

    • Catlogic15
      2:13 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

      Including families of athletes we’re trying to recruit.

  15. EagleCat
    12:36 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

    Was a student at MSU during the Iranian hostage crisis. During a MSU-Marshall basketball game, a fraternity unveiled a bedsheet sign that read “Bomb the Herd and Iran”. The administration had it removed and that was the end of it. Barnhart’s response was appropriate in this situation. Students will be students. Lighten up.

  16. 8generationsblue
    2:52 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

    The sign is not that bad. Everyone is way too sensitive.

    3:03 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

    Too soon… Let’s wait for these hurricanes to blow over…

  18. adamdw05
    3:18 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

    KSR is just making the situation worse by showing this sign on their site, multiple times. I don’t really care that much, but if the KSR guys were so appalled by it, why would they post it 3 separate times?

  19. mikeintn
    3:34 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

    Liberal idiots.

    • UK Big Board Update
      3:51 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

      How do you know that? What if, in fact, they were non-PC conservatives? Makes more sense that it would be, actually.

  20. EdC
    5:57 pm September 21, 2017 Permalink

    The epitome of trolldom. A single numbskull makes a single sign. Manages to get the right person or people to see it and tweaks millions.

    It isn’t remotely reasonable to think they represent UK, UK team, UK fans, ANYBODY other than themselves but somehow it’s a thing that a university official is compelled to respond to.


  21. Howdy Doody
    9:03 am September 22, 2017 Permalink

    Stupid is as Stupid does…30 years off ass kickings by Florida, and THIS is what we have to show for it ???