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Cross-country team suspended over racist, misogynistic messages

AMHERST, Mass. -- The men’s cross-country team at Amherst College in Massachusetts has been suspended from team activities after a number of messages came to light that administrators called racist, misogynistic and homophobic.

The messages surfaced in a report in a student publication, The Indicator, which reported on a series of emails and messages sent from 2013 to 2015. In some messages, female students’ pictures are included with comments on their sexual history. 

Some women are referred to as “meat slabs” or “a walking STD.” Many were sent to incoming freshmen. 

“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.”   

In response to a series of emails that President Biddy Martin said "violate Amherst’s principles and the most basic...

Posted by Amherst College on Sunday, December 11, 2016

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.” 

Administrators on Sunday said team members confirmed the messages, and they are investigating. 

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