The Florida A&M social media team has been on a roll with their recent mic’d up content. First, it was FAMU softball player Melkayla Irvis singing “Love’ by Musiqsoulchild during warmups, prompting the grammy nominated artist to give her a virtual nod of approval. Next, it was cheerleading captain Nailah Clarington’s turn for some viral fame.
Once it was her turn to adorn the mic she was instant internet gold. Clarington was filmed giving her “honest opinions” during a home basketball game from her cheer spot on the sideline.
“From the fans to the stands. From the team to the coaches; they can get it,” yelled Clarington in the now viral TikTok video. The senior cheerleader’s “commentary” was so good it garnered countless reposts from platforms like ESPN and Blavity and Clarington’s bold in-game energy has been watched and liked by millions across the country.
In a recent interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio, Nailah Clarington speaks about her newfound fame since the viral video.
Clarington said heckling the players isn’t anything new to the ones who know her and even reoccurring fans. “It seems just like a regular game to me. This is the type of talk that me and my teammates do all of the time, so for the world to blow up this one clip it’s crazy and funny to me.” Clarington shared that her basketball connections within her family prepared her for her many years of playful heckling.
If you ever attended any FAMU sporting event you would know that the student section doesn’t come to play. During the interview Clarington jokes about how she’s never alone on the sideline talking to opposing players to get under their skin. “One time the players were heckled so bad and it got out of hand had to be when we (FAMU) played against NC A&T two years ago on the football field. A fight almost broke out between the player and the student section. I was like ‘woah’ we got under his skin with that one, good job guys.Despite the high emotions, we all understand that there’s all love in between the heckling.”
Since becoming a viral sensation Clarington explains she felt no difference because students around campus along with her friends are already accustomed to her heckling ways. But other teachers and students around campus who are not so familiar now recognize her as the “girl from SportsCenter.” “Teachers know I would never be that loud or disrespectful in their class but overall the support has been great from my campus and my community.”
But all good things must come to an end. This will be Clarington’s last season on the FAMU cheerleading squad; she is set to graduate this spring.
But first Nailah will be back on the sidelines… Not as a cheerleader, but as a reporter with HBCU Gameday for coverage of the Florida A&M Orange and Green spring game on April 15th.