Student-athletes allegedly involved in racist incidents

Isabella Breda, Editor In Chief

In response to two racist events shared on social media allegedly involving California Lutheran University student-athletes, students and members of the Cal Lutheran community are encouraged to attend a campuswide forum on race and equity from 3-5 p.m. February 24, in Gilbert Arena.

“Blackface and the N-word evoke white supremacy, anti-blackness and remind us that a violent, racist past is still with us today,” President Chris Kimball said in an email sent to faculty, students and staff on Tuesday, Feb. 5.  “It invokes fear at a time when we strive to ensure that all our students, faculty and staff feel valued.”

A video including a screen recording of a Snapchat in which a Cal Lutheran student-athlete says “Nah N—, was shared at 10:16 p.m. Feb. 4 by sophomore Zuma Obara @Brokeboizoo on Twitter. 

“I was with friends or whatever and he was like hey look at this and showed me [the video],” Obara said. “First off I was like no way, then I kept replaying, then I was like wow that’s crazy–it was super unexpected.” 

Obara said he tagged Cal Lutheran when sharing the video [of the student saying the n-word] because he “most definitely” did not want the racist comment to go unnoticed. 

Cal Lutheran’s official Twitter account replied around 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5.

A separate video allegedly including what appeared to be blackface was posted on Instagram by Cal Lutheran student-athletes, but was immediately taken down, according to President Kimball.

“All CLU Student Athletes review and sign numerous forms prior to the start of the school year,” Associate Vice President for Athletic Affairs and Title IX Coordinator Jim McHugh said in an email to the Echo“Included in those forms is a Student-Athlete Expectations form which details a host of expectations… [including] the expectation of respect and the lack of tolerance of any negative or threatening action or comments concerning race, ethnicity, sexual comments or religious comments.”

According to Assistant Dean of Students, Director of Residence Life and Deputy Title IX Coordinator Christine Paul, “these incidents will not be tolerated and will be dealt with in an appropriate manner and in accordance with our Student Conduct system.”

A Student Conduct officer will evaluate both cases to determine if the actions are Student Conduct policy violations, if so, the officer will move forward with the “appropriate sanctions.”

“Those who are responsible will be held accountable,” Kimball said in the email.

This article was updated to reflect that the forum on race and equity was already planned before the racist incidents and that President Chris Kimball said the student-athletes allegedly using blackface posted a video on Instagram.