While we may disagree on many issues, it is important for us to stand together in solidarity and support each other in any way possible when either school or town is the victim of a heinous crime.
Unfortunately, we are all too familiar with tragedy of this nature, and we want them to know we have nothing but our sincerest empathy for the victims and their families.
In the past, our rivalry with Bama has led us to say and do some mean things, and those ill-spirited deeds have escalated in the past few years.
Hopefully, in light of recent tragedies, we can all tone down the animosity and adopt a spirit of cooperation.
The universities and cities of Tuscaloosa and Auburn have had a tumultuous past two years. Both have been victim to the devastation of tornadoes, although Tuscaloosa suffered infinitely more than the Plains, and both have now experienced the horror of mass shootings.
We think now is the time when both schools should put aside their shared trivial enmity and work toward a greater good.
We’re not saying the long-standing competition on the football field should expire, not in the least; but the hate and bitterness that has become part of our relationship as competitors certainly needs to stop.
If anything, the calamities we have both been forced to endure should remind us that both schools and towns consist of real people, not just victory-obsessed football fanatics.
It is these people who hurt the most when tragedy intrudes the safe haven of the places we call home.
These events are not about football, and they never will be. There is nothing wrong with a competitive attitude that drives all of us to achieve our greatest potential. However, when fanaticism and hate start to eclipse the humanity of either side, that potential is lost.
As we said when the June 9 shooting happened here in Auburn, we are stunned and at a loss for answers, if there are any to be found. We are more than grateful that no one has lost their lives, and we hope for the best for those still in critical condition.
All of us at The Auburn Plainsman want speak on behalf of everyone here, on-and-off campus, and offer our heartfelt sympathy to the victims of this crime, their families and the family that is the University of Alabama.
We don’t hate you, Bama; and we hope our bitter rivalry will eventually evolve into a friendly coexistence. Regardless of when that happens, we still have your back.