MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Christian Brothers University is investigating after a baseball player called an African-American opponent the ‘n-word.’
The racial slur led to a large fight between the CBU and LeMoyne-Owen College teams. Three players were ejected.
Christian Brother University told FOX13 Monday that they are investigating the incident.
The Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students have also launched a Title VII investigation, “to see that additional training and education related to racial equality and inclusion is conducted for this CBU student and other team members.”
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The brawl happened while many students were on spring break, but young men and women at both schools were flustered by the news.
“That's not right, I mean it's not,” said Arianna Wright, at student at LeMoyne-Owen.
“We came along way. The school was built for us to have somewhere to go, because we didn't have nowhere to go, and when you call us that it's degrading.”
“That's shocking, and I think he should be suspended or something more than just sitting out a few games,” said Amber Jones, a freshman at CBU.
In all, three players were ejected. Two were from LeMoyne-Owen, and one from CBU.
According to the CBU Athletic Director Brian Summers:
“The incident was the result of what the umpires deemed excessive contact by an LOC baserunner caught in a run down; this action would have resulted in ejection from the game. However, before this could occur, the situation escalated when one of the CBU players directed a racial slur at one of the LOC team members. A fight ensued which led to teammates from both benches taking the field.”
All players ejected will serve a mandatory four game suspension, but some wonder if that is enough.
“He shouldn't play the rest of the season,” said Wright.
“I think they should look at his past, look at his character,” said Jones.
CBU told FOX13 the player plans to apologize to the LeMoyne-Owen team in person on Wednesday.
The CBU Head Coach and Athletic Director said they have already apologized.
“I want to state emphatically that this incident has not been taken lightly. At CBU, we do not tolerate unsportsmanlike conduct, either by our student athletes or by any others associated with CBU athletics,” said Brian Summers, in a statement sent to FOX13. “We condemn actions that do not reflect our core values and the Lasallian educational principles…We regret that this happened, and we hope that this will be a transformational experience for our students and our entire community.”
Arianna Wright from LeMoyne-Owen hopes the CBU player learns from the mistake, and the university sends a message.
“It should be a learning experience,” she said. “As an African-American, I am kind of used to hearing people say that word and it not being handled correctly, or in a timely manner.”
Both schools’ athletic directors and coaches declined our request for an on-camera interview.
CBU has still not said if it will discipline the student past the mandatory four game suspension.
The commissioner of LeMoyne-Owen’s conference, the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, told FOX13:
“The SIAC cannot overstate our extreme disappointment in the conduct and behavior by the student-athlete from Christian Brothers University… I trust that Christian Brothers University will clearly and unequivocally respond with disciplinary measures that reflect its values, mission and purpose which presumably and categorically rejects and condemns such ugly manifestations of racial intolerance."
There is apparently game video of the incident that CBU filmed. It has not been made public, but CBU said, “Documentation of the event was shared at that time with LOC. That information was also shared with the NCAA Division II national coordinator of baseball officials. President John Smarrelli Jr. was also notified.”
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