This is not a good week for Hugh Freeze. Around 20 Ole Miss football players, enrolled in a freshman theater course, attended a performance of “The Laramie Project,” a play that addresses the 1998 torture and murder of openly gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard. They were forced to apologize for activities that a faculty member termed “borderline hate speech.”
Football players were described as “initiating” audience members using “fag” and other anti-gay slurs, “hollering at the females in the cast,” and “taking pictures of cast members while making fun of them.” One football player delivered an apology to the cast on behalf of the players. The Ole Miss Theatre Dept. Chair said she was “not sure players understood what they were apologizing for.”
Hugh Freeze issued a bland response via Twitter.
We certainly do not condone any actions that offend or hurt people in any way.We are working with all departments involved to find the facts
— Hugh Freeze (@CoachHughFreeze) October 3, 2013
There’s not much more we can add to this, but say it’s absolutely terrible. Hopefully, the response is more educational and constructive than pulling “student-athletes” from theatre classes.
[Photo via USA Today Sports]