Ole Miss administration says football players not involved in hate speech incident

Sep 14, 2013; Austin, TX, USA; Mississippi Rebels running back Jeff Scott (3) returns a punt for a touchdown against the Texas Longhorns during the second half at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Ole Miss beat Texas 44-23. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

The Ole Miss football program was spared a black eye this weekend when it was announced by the university’s Bias Incident Response Team that the 20 or so football players present at last Tuesday’s production of The Laramie Project weren’t involved in heckling the actors with hate speech. Reports initially claimed that members of the football team, along with other attendees of the show, shouted anti-gay slurs during the performance.

After conducting a 45-minute interview on Thursday with the players allegedly involved, the Bias Incident Response Team released the following statement on Friday:

The task of identifying specific individuals who were purported to have disrupted the performance is difficult because of the dark theatre, and initial reports vary in regard to the frequency, volume and source of the comments or disruption. Although initial reports indicate that student-athletes led the action, it is important to note that this has not been verified and they were not the only students present. Reports indicate that comments were made by student athletes and students but no report has singled out a specific student or mentioned any names (ESPN).

Although cleared of any wrongdoing, the members of the football team present at the play will be required to attend “an educational dialogue session” about the incident.

[Source: ESPN]

Topics: Ole Miss

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