An investigation is underway after racist comments were directed towards a visiting rugby player.
At the Sept. 23 Women’s Rugby home game against the Guelph Gryphons on Nixon Field, officials were notified of a spectator making racist comments towards a visiting player.
Though Athletics and Recreation (A&R) reported steps have been taken to identify the individual, no updates have been released to the public stating the individual has been identified.
According to a statement from Linda Melnick, executive director for A&R, posted to the A&R website on Sept. 28, an investigation to identify the spectator is ongoing.
“Harassment and discrimination of any kind are unacceptable, and have no place in sport, on our campus, or in our community. A&R and the Queen’s Women’s Rugby program have zero tolerance for racism,” Melnick said in a press release. “We sincerely regret this happened at a game, and we acknowledge these incidents cause severe harm to many members within our broader community.”
In the statement, A&R committed to increasing staff, security, signage, and announcements to ensure all spectators are in compliance with the OUA Spectator Code of Conduct.
The OUA Spectator Code of Conduct requires spectators refrain from verbal or physical harassment directed towards anyone attending, playing, coaching, or officiating a game. Failure to comply with the Code of Conduct will result in an ejection from the game and prohibition from attending future games.
“We reaffirm our ongoing commitment to Indigenization, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Anti-Racism, and Accessibility (I-EDIAA) to help ensure the safety and security of A&R participants, and enact purposeful change and positive shifts in values, beliefs, and practices to foster an inclusive and welcoming environment for all,” Melnick said.
Anyone with information is urged to file a harassment and discrimination report through Queen’s harassment and discrimination reporting system.
A&R said they’re in contact with Guelph Athletics to ensure all necessary steps are taken to properly conduct this investigation. Melnick encouraged Queen’s students affected by this incident to visit Student Wellness Services.
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