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Video showing U of M cheerleaders with Marsha Blackburn causes controversy

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A campaign video is typical for politicians running for office, but a video posted Friday had many people upset.

The video was posted by Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn.  She stood alongside University of Memphis cheerleaders as they yelled, "Marsha! Marsha! Marsha!"

University of Memphis Law Professor Steven Mulroy said it's normal for candidates to try to get groups, like cheerleaders, to be in videos in hopes that it helps their campaign.

"These are the U of M cheerleaders in the U of M cheerleaders uniforms doing that, so it's clearly an endorsement," he said.

Students also understand why.

"All universities shouldn't really take a political stance. It's opinion based, so I don't see that going well," Bethany Brashier said.

The video was posted on Friday and by Monday, it was gone.

The University Athletics Office sent a statement saying:

"The Athletics Office was notified that pictures of the University of Memphis Spirit Squads were posted on political social media sites. UofM Spirit Squads do not endorse any candidate(s) for political office in accordance with UofM policies. Political organizers were contacted to remove any and all posts suggesting endorsement by the University of Memphis."

"As a state entity, funded by state tax dollars they're supposed to remain neutral in such things. So it's damaging to the university's reputation and brand," Mulroy said.

The University wanted to reiterate that it does not endorse any candidates for political office due to school policies.

We reached out to Marsha Blackburn's Office Monday morning to see if they had a response to the backlash. We haven't heard back yet.

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