University responds to comments toward women’s basketball team

Zoe Bogarty, News Editor

Racism has found a new platform after a hateful comment was messaged privately to a member of the women’s basketball team following their tournament win last weekend.

The comment read “Ashland is finally starting to win games without you *insert racial slur*”. It is a terrible message to receive especially after a long-awaited victory.

Both the team and the AU athletic department are answering no further questions on the matter and declined to give an update. President Carlos Campo and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion have since made a statement regarding the issue.

“We thank Coach Pickens for her extraordinary response to this written attack against one of our student-athletes. It is sickening and sad to think that some in our community have been raised in darkness and continue to propagate the discrimination they have learned and embraced,” said AU President Dr. Carlos Campo in his statement. “No student at Ashland University should have to endure such abuse. There is no place for these sentiments in our community.”

The person who sent the message is not affiliated with the university. The student who received the message has requested no action be taken against the messenger. Ashland and the athletic department are in full support of any decisions the player and the coach decide to make.

According to the statement, the person who sent the message is no longer welcome on campus for any events taking place or for any purpose.

The statement ends with an affirmation that AU is a zero hate tolerance university, “Ashland University continues to reject and abhor the racial hatred expressed to our student athlete, and we stand with her in support and solidarity against the forces of ignorance that continue to infect some members of our society. We affirm that we not only support our African American students, but we celebrate them as an integral part of our campus community. While we cannot control the ignorant comments that may come to our students via social media, we will support them in every way to ensure they continue to feel safe and welcomed as part of our Ashland University family.”

The full statement can be found on the Ashland University website under the news release: https://news.ashland.edu/article/au-decries-racist-comment-made-member-womens-basketball-team