Football team can do and be better

I would like to start by apologizing for the offensive words, actions and behaviors by some student-athletes and by the varsity football team in particular.

The events and allegations of racism and sexism among student athletes has simply gone too far. As a student-athlete myself, it is hard to deny the fact that the closed group mentality does not exist with sports teams. Therefore, I won’t.

But since Halloween, when a few football players wore blackface as part of their costume, the entire football team has been called racist and sexist on Yik Yak. People are clearly upset about what happened, and I want to apologize. It has gotten to the point that the topic has been brought up by the CBC. I have recently sat and watched a fellow teammate and student-athlete argue the moral ethics and values of which our team possesses through the infamous app, Yik Yak.  I want to again apologize. Acts of few should not create an image for all.

I do not believe that the actions, words and behavior by members of the football team were gestures of hate towards any group of individuals. I truly feel that it is a lack of respect. for the comfort and feelings of those who surround us. The cult-like atmosphere that is created around student-athletes is not to push out individuals out of dislike or hate. It is truly like the friendships that you have created for yourselves, a group of like-minded individuals with similar beliefs, interests and hobbies.

We as a group have failed ourselves as young men. The uncomfortable place that we have put people in by the Halloween costumes we chose, the use of racial slurs, and disrespect we put forward toward other students have been realized and recognized. I understand the discomfort under which others have been placed when you are surrounded by these actions, words and behaviors. University is about building yourself and making decisions, and there are a lot of student-athletes that are being labelled for something they have absolutely no role in. Mistakes have been made by student-athletes, especially by our football team. We have accepted our mistakes and are working to improve, both as individuals and as a team.

I would like to offer this letter as an official apology to those who are uncomfortable and have been affected by this situation and to rally together to take the final step in an attempt to make Mount Allison a safe and comfortable space for all.

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