Columbia University Wrestling Team Suspended Over Lewd And Racist Group MessagesBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
Columbia University has suspended its wrestling team from any activity. This comes after allegations that members of the team sent lewd and racist group messages and texts.
CNN reported that the university is launching an investigation on the accusations. In the meantime, wrestlers will not be allowed to compete until the school has "a full understanding of the facts on which to base the official response to the disturbing matter."
The team was scheduled to compete at the New York State Championships in Ithaca, New York. It will be happening on Sunday.
"Columbia University has zero tolerance in its athletics programs for the group messaging and texts sent by several members of the men's varsity wrestling team," the university said in a statement. "They are appalling, at odds with the core values of the University, and violate team guidelines."
According to BuzzFeed News, the school's independent student-run paper, Bwog, first published screenshots of the messages. Apparently, it has been going on for about three years.
The messages included the n-word and "faggot." It also referred to a woman as "fish pussy."
Screenshots of the messages also revealed how the members of the wrestling team sent Instagram pictures of female students and mocked their appearances. Another woman was also described as "looking like a dude in a wig."
CBS News noted that Columbia University did not say how long the investigation would last. A spokesperson for the school admitted the possibility that the team could compete in a couple of days or this weekend. However, it all depends on what the outcome of the investigation would be.
The news also led to protests in the campus. Demonstrators urge the university to "issue a public statement regarding the group chat and remove all wrestlers involved from the team... that each wrestler involved issue a public apology, that Bwog release the names of the wrestlers involved in the chat, and that the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity, which largely comprises athletes, lose its house and issue a statement regarding the incident."