Pressure is mounting on South Carolina’s Presbyterian College to hold accountable those who hurled racist and sexist insults at Howard University’s women’s lacrosse team as they made their way into Bailey Memorial Stadium moments before a game last week.
“Our first steps onto the field, we were greeted with, ‘F— Howard! You’re not welcome here!’ They said, ‘We don’t want you here!’ They told us to go home,” coach Karen Healy-Silcott told NBC News. “They shouted, ‘If it ain’t white, it ain’t right!’ We were looking at each other, wondering if we were actually hearing this.”
Brian Silcott, the husband of the Howard women’s lacrosse team’s head coach and a member of the USA Lacrosse board of directors, responded to the incident on Twitter.
My wife had her first game as the Head Coach of @HowardU yesterday at Presbyterian @presbycollege They were greeted by a bunch of boys hurling obscene and threatening insults. This is the life of black female athletes. Wish I was there, thankfully my wife can take care of herself
— brian t silcott (@btsilcott) February 12, 2022
Presbyterian responded to Silcott on Twitter and addressed the incident on its website, saying there will be an investigation and the school does not tolerate “racism, misogyny, and hate.” Presbyterian College President Matthew Vandenberg strongly condemned the incident in a statement posted to the college’s website, saying: “The racist, misogynistic, and hateful behaviors exhibited by individuals on the day in question are an abomination. They have no place anywhere in civilized society, let alone at PC.” He also promised “severe consequences for individuals found responsible.”
In a statement given to South Florida Media Network, Keru Davis, the Howard University director of intercollegiate athletics, said:
“I am deeply troubled that some of our student-athletes were subjected to slurs and abusive language before the women’s lacrosse game last Friday vs. Presbyterian College. Howard does not condone such disgraceful behavior in any form, and the use of harmful language such as this runs counter to the values of this institution, which celebrates respect, diversity, and inclusion on its campus. We appreciate Presbyterian College’s initial response and demand a thorough investigation be launched. We condemn this deplorable behavior, and will continually support, defend, and protect our bison.”