Five women soccer players were suspended from a match Wednesday at a private christian college in Washington state when a photo started circulating on social media showing them dressed in afro wigs and blackface.
The players at Whitworth University in Spokane were attempting to dress up as the Jackson 5 when they appeared in costume at a gathering with teammates at a bowling alley Monday night. The photo caption read: “Oh baby, give me one more chance. #Jackson5 #thisiswhitworthsoccer” and was posted numerous times on the university president’s Facebook page, KXLY-TV reported.
“In light of the impact that these actions have had on Whitworth and the greater Spokane community, we feel it is in the best interest of all involved to take this action at this time,” Coach Jael Hagerott said Wednesday in a statement. “While their intentions were not malicious, the outcome of their actions was painful for many in our community. We feel that this punitive response is proportional to their actions.”
The women were not allowed to play Wednesday in the season-opening game against Carleton College. However, the university’s athletics department said it does not plan to take any further punitive action.
“As a Christ-centered university that believes in the value of all individuals, we are seeking to use this situation as an opportunity to educate, redeem and restore,” athletics director Tim Demant said.
Officials told local media members the student athletes did not comprehend the meaning behind blackface.
SOURCE: Lindsey Bever
The Washington Post