Ole Miss Football Players Interrupt Campus Production of THE LARAMIE PROJECT with 'Borderline Hate Speech'

OperaBwayLover
Broadway Star
joined:5/17/07
And people wonder why I don't like to say I'm from Mississippi. I am absolutely disgusted and appalled by the whole incident, perhaps even moreso by the fact that, based on the article, it seems like nothing will be done to the players who attended the performance. They should be kicked off the team, but because it's football, and because it's Ole Miss, they will get away with it.
Tom1071
Broadway Legend
joined:9/1/04
This open letter to the Students and Faculty is promising. Hopefully, some good will come out of this incident. It's awful that the actors had to endure such a horrific display of ignorance and bigotry.

"While we work to determine with certainty who disrupted the Laramie Project play, we want everyone within our university community and beyond to know that we strongly condemn the behavior exhibited Tuesday night. As a member of the Ole Miss family, each of us has a responsibility to be accountable for our actions, and these individuals will be held accountable. Our investigation will determine the degree to which any and all students were involved.

As a first step to addressing behavior at the performance Tuesday night, we will meet today with the freshman student-athletes (from various sports) who attended the play and have a dialogue about what happened, about our university-wide commitment to inclusivity and civility, and about the important role they play in representing the university. It is clear that some students badly misrepresented the culture of this university. From there, we will work with Student Affairs and the Bias Incident Response Team to determine the facts and appropriate next steps.

Incidents like this remind all educators that our job is to prepare our students to be leaders in life during their years on campus and after they graduate from Ole Miss. This behavior by some students reflects poorly on all of us, and it reinforces our commitment to teaching inclusivity and civility to young people who still have much to learn. We will be engaging our student-athletes with leaders on the subject of individuality and tolerance, so we can further enforce life lessons and develop them to their fullest potential.

On behalf of our 22,000 students, our faculty, and our staff, we apologize.

Dan Jones

Chancellor, University of Mississippi

Ross Bjork

Director of Athletics, University of Mississippi"



Open Letter to UM Students and Faculty
Updated On: 10/4/13 at 11:12 AM
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
You think the kids would be more open-minded with Bjork as their athletic director.
"Colbert is toast after this latest flap." -- Mr Roxy "Read 'Atlas Shrugged'." -- Gothampc
JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
I hope some gay group interrupts this weekend's football game with a gay kiss-in.
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
SFFrontRow
Stand-by
joined:3/19/05
Like Ole Miss is going to suspend football players. Everything you need to know is in the first sentence:

"While we work to determine with certainty who disrupted the Laramie Project play..."

I can only imagine that the final chapter will be a statement that goes something like this:

"While we were unable to identify with certainty the instigators of this unacceptable behavior..."

And in the end, I am sure that no one will be held accountable. If you read the story about the incident, you will know that before the show ended, someone from the althetic department was there and the theater faculty member is also an outreach liason with the athletic department. They should have isolated those individuals and taken names. Since that does not appear to be forthcoming 3 days after the incident, you can guess it never will.

Everyone in the school adminstration is acting like they are upset and they will get to the bottom of this, but a major football program in the south is not going to take a hit for something as "minor" as hate speech against gays and intra-study body disrespect (in general but even more heinously during this play about hate and insensitivity). The stage manager who is a Theater Arts faculty member for this "school" said that even though the players apologized after the production (through only one of them) "they really didn't understand why they were apologizing" and "although they were the instigators, they weren't the only ones". Sounds like a rationalization from even the theater department.

Sad and infuriating all at once.



Updated On: 10/4/13 at 11:32 AM
Tom1071
Broadway Legend
joined:9/1/04
It's a damned if they do...damned if they don't situation. At least the administration acknowledged that there was wrong doing. I think it would be even more of an outrage if the school had said absolutely nothing. I don't think we know that names weren't taken. We will just have to wait and see what happens.

I still have to believe that there is an opportunity for some good to come out of this even if it is just an open dialogue about what is acceptable behavior and treatment of another human being (Ironic considering the subject matter of the play being performed). Maybe I'm just a cockeyed optimist but the idea that there wouldn't be is heartbreaking. I went to such a school in a neighboring state so I know the mentality concerning the "religion" of athletics and that football is king. The football team alone generates the majority of the revenue for the entire university and nothing will be done that will jeopardize the team's ability to function. I know that any punishment that is handed down from this will seem like a slap on the wrist. These football players were freshman so a suspension from being able to play would make very little difference as only a handful of freshman ever actually get to play more than once or twice in a season if at all.









Updated On: 10/7/13 at 01:10 PM
SFFrontRow
Stand-by
joined:3/19/05
Then hit them where it hurts. Take away the ability to play football (worse punishment in the players' minds) AND take away their scholarships (and I am sure the players are thinking, at least I dont have to continue the sham of going to class so I can "play ball").

This incident only shows how these individuals think they are above any discipline except that of "coach" and the ability to start a game. So, if one of the players involved is a star, how do you think the coach will react (I can only assume he would say something like - he's just a young kid - he'll learn from this - but we shouldnt unduly punish him).
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
An SEC team (or any FBS team for that matter) would *never* self impose punishments for an incident unrelated to the program, department, or the NCAA. There is far too much money in their athletics to ever do that. Do not even think for a second that some wrong will be righted. It's not going to happen, and that is the saddest part of all.
"I'm fine, and my hips are fine. My false knee is fine. My false hips are fine. Everything's cooking." -Liza
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
Maybe they should be horsewhipped and then tarred and feathered.
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
And if you do, videotape it and post it on Xtube.
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
PattyO'Furniture
Stand-by
joined:8/12/04
Though nothing (of substance or meaning) will happen, Hail, State!, and Go to Hell, Ole Miss!
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Liza, FBS teams self-impose punishment all the time in the hopes that doing so promptly will head off worse sanctions from the NCAA. I'm not saying they do so out of nobility, but it is incorrect to claim they never sanction themselves.

***

As for the Mississippi incident, I say we chalk it up as a win! Okay, so a play was temporarily interrupted. AND IT MADE NATIONAL NEWS plus the AD and Chancellor apologized. Would any of those responses followed in the 1990s? I doubt it.

if you read Brecht, Artaud or most of the French Symbolists, they liked nothing better than an uproar in the audience! It meant they were actually upsetting the composure of the bourgeoisie. Alfred Jarry's reputation was made by the supposed "riot" that broke out during the premier of his UBU ROI.

Let's count our victories where we find them.
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Tony and Wilbon talked about this today on PTI and I agree with what they had to say.

I don't think the football team should be punished for their actions. They aren't pro athletes, and they don't sign morality clauses to be on the team. This should be used as a teaching moment and the players should have a constructive punishment- they even suggested having the drama dept/cast members come up with the punishment. Maybe have them do so many hours of community service with a gay related organization or something of that nature.

Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
"Liza, FBS teams self-impose punishment all the time in the hopes that doing so promptly will head off worse sanctions from the NCAA. I'm not saying they do so out of nobility, but it is incorrect to claim they never sanction themselves. "

You clearly did not understand my post. An FBS team will not sacrifice their program over an incident like this. There is far too much money and prestige on the line for them. That is my point.
"I'm fine, and my hips are fine. My false knee is fine. My false hips are fine. Everything's cooking." -Liza
Updated On: 10/4/13 at 09:29 PM
OperaBwayLover
Broadway Star
joined:5/17/07
"You clearly did not understand my post. An FBS team will not sacrifice their program over an incident like this. There is far too much money and prestige on the line for them. That is my point."

And especially because it's Ole Miss. They have an incredibly high opinion of their football team (every year they think they're going to go back to the glory days of Archie Manning and Johnny Vaught, ie 1960s/70s) and have been going nuts over the fact they are actually ranked this year. Sadly, there's no way the football players responsible will get a just punishment as a result- mainly because, if they were, say, suspended for this weekend's game, the Ole Miss alums would have a fit. And given that Ole Miss is the 'rich people's school' in Mississippi, the powers-that-be will not do anything to risk losing them.

It's really sad that I know all this...especially since I hate Ole Miss.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
You clearly did not understand my post. An FBS team will not sacrifice their program over an incident like this. There is far too much money and prestige on the line for them. That is my point.

Headband, I not only understood, I agree. But the key words are "sacrifice their program". Programs bench players all the time for violating "team rules" or for behavior that reflects badly on the team; this is not to say they willingly "sacrifice" their entire program.

Will Ole Miss do so in this case? I won't hold my breath.

Updated On: 10/5/13 at 03:45 PM
TomSloan
Swing
joined:1/3/05
These attitudes are not just in the South. I taught theatre for 25 years in a college prep high school in Ohio. The football coach routinely made homophobic comments to his players and his classes. He told students that anyone who tries out for a play is a faggot and why would you want to be a faggot when you could be a man and play sports. One of his players was cast as Tybalt in a production of "Romeo and Juliet". The coach had a fit. He publicly questioned the young man's sexuality and referred to the student as Juliet from that point on. When his comments and actions were reported to the principal, the principal remarked "we are trying to build an athletic program at this school. In order to do so you need old school coaches and a lot of old school coaches have homophobic attitudes". So as long as the football team was being served, it did not matter that students were being bullied by a teacher! I left the school and now work at a school that has a tremendous sports program, while maintaining support and respect for the fine arts. They do not need to be exclusive! The real problem is an American culture that gives thugs a free pass as long as they are capable of handling a ball - one of life's most needed skills!
adam.peterson44
Broadway Star
joined:9/7/11
To add on more depressing info to support Tom's point, the link below shows the top-paid public employee by state.

The depressing summary:
In 39 states, it is a football or basketball coach.
In 5 states, it is a college president.
In 5 states, it is a medical school employee (dean, dept. head, or surgeon).
In 1 state, it is a law school dean.

http://deadspin.com/infographic-is-your-states-highest-paid-employee-a-co-489635228