TSSAA Ups Security Citing Nearby Nationalist Rally

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The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee)


Security will be increased at the TSSAA's girls soccer state tournament on Friday and Saturday with a white nationalist rally set to take place in Murfreesboro on Saturday.

Organizers of a "White Lives Matter" rally have applied for a permit to demonstrate on Saturday outside the Rutherford County Courthouse, located in the city's public square.

The soccer tournament is being held at Richard Siegel Soccer Complex, which is located about six miles away from the courthouse. The tournament kicks off Wednesday with teams from across the state competing for state championships.

The Division II championship games are scheduled for Friday and Division I championships set for Saturday.

TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress said he has been assured there will be an increase in security. But he wants everyone coming to the tournament aware of what is happening and to avoid the downtown area.

"One of the things we are doing (Wednesday) is remind them to keep their teams together and away from the area where the protests are scheduled to take place," Childress said. "We want to make sure people are aware of it.

"You could have someone from upper East Tennessee coming that may not know this is going on. We want them to keep their athletes and fans together and away from those areas."

As of Tuesday, the city hadn't officially granted a permit for the event. However the League of the South, which applied for the permit, announced it still plans to rally Saturday.

Childress said coaches have been notified of the white nationalist rally.

"Of course there are concerns," Childress said. "We are not doing anything different as far as changing the schedule."

Reach Tom Kreager at tkreager@tennessean.com or 615-259-8089 and on Twitter @Kreager.

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October 26, 2017


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