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On January 26, Chancellor Beverly Davenport issued a statement on hateful messages painted on the Rock.

In the statement, Davenport said:

In the past month, our Rock has been painted several times by a self-described racial separatist group. At the core of their beliefs are racial segregation, prejudice, bigotry, and exclusion. I know many of you have been offended by their presence on our campus and what they have written on our Rock. Please know I share your sentiments entirely. I find their values and teachings despicable, hateful, divisive, and incendiary, and as I have said before, they are completely at odds with our Volunteer values and ethics.

Several media outlets reported on the statement, including the News Sentinel, Rachel Ohm, Jan. 26; WBIR, Jan. 26; WATE, Marshall Stephens, Jan. 27; WVLT, Jan. 26; and WVLT, Donovan Long, Jan. 29.