AMHERST, Mass. -- A Massachusetts college’s men’s cross country team is apologizing for emails some team members sent making sexual comments about female students.
The Amherst College team says in a statement reported by the student magazine The Indicator it’s ashamed of the emails and pledges to improve its culture.
The private college of 1,800 students suspended the team’s activities after The Indicator on Sunday reported on a series of emails among some team members from 2013 to 2015.
The magazine said the messages were racist and misogynist, sometimes including pictures of female students and comments on their sexual histories. Some women were referred to as “meat slabs” or “a walking STD.”
“These exchanges are supposedly meant to ‘welcome’ new teammates and introduce them to the culture of the team,” Amherst President Biddy Martin said in a letter to students, faculty and staff that was posted on the college’s website.
“The messages are appalling,” she said. “They are not only vulgar, they are cruel and hateful. No attempt to rationalize them will change that.”
Athletic Director Don Faulstick called the exchanges and behavior described in the article disgusting.
“They have no place on our sports teams or anywhere at our College,” Faulstick said in a statement. “They violate the ‘zero-tolerance’ standard toward bigotry of any kind that we explicitly set for our athletes.”
The team says it deserves criticism but hopes to regain the trust of those people it hurt.