Saint Louis University Baseball Players Call President Obama A “Watermelon Eating Baboon”
Leaked Groupme messages between Saint Louis University baseball players surfaced which showed a racist conversation between teammates during a trip to Washington D. C.
In May 2015, according to the players, the group was discussing where to eat when the racist jokes began to fly. One player sent a screenshot to his roommate Brenden Twomey who held on to the picture for almost a year. Earlier this month, his girlfriend Dominique Morgan saw the messages and the two of them filed a bias-related incident report with University officials on April 4, 2016.
By April 11th the students had not yet heard anything back from the University and did not want the incident to get swept under the rug. They sent the image to the Black Student Alliance who posted the photo to their Facebook page.
Not only are their identities being protected but the players will also not face any consequences, per the SLU administration, because the texts were sent in a private conversation.
“If I were to directly state to you, ‘You suck because of all of your social identities that God gave you.’ That would be wrong. That would require some adjudication,” said Dr. Hicks, Dean of Students. “We also need to respect laws. This was a private conversation, or at least the perception of private between in-group parties.”
The team captains, Michael Bozarth, Josh Bunselmeyer, Matt Eckelman and Braxton Martinez, wrote a letter to The University News apologizing and agreed to participate in restorative justice process.
“The leaders and captains of the team would like to extend an apology to anyone offended by the bias messages. We, too, are frustrated and feel that the comments do not accurately reflect the values that we hold.
In light of the incident, the SLU Baseball program and athletic department are working to actively address and thwart any action that threatens our inclusive community.”
The baseball team has agreed to participate in a restorative justice process to make amends for the messages. This process will require the team, as well as the affected individuals, Morgan and Twomey, as well members of BSA, to engage in a facilitated dialogue.
“In this instance, we want to bring together parties that have been responsible for degree of harm with parties that have been harmed. In a restorative justice process, we bring those groups together to decide both what the nature of the harm is and what needs to be done in order for the community to be restored and in order for justice to be attained,” said Smith.
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