Princeton University just suspended the men’s swimming and diving teams’ seasons. Wanna guess why?(More)
“Vulgar and offensive, as well as misogynistic and racist”
Yeah, you guessed right:
The Princeton men’s swimming and diving team has been informed by Ford Family Director of Athletics Mollie Marcoux Samaan and head coach Rob Orr that their season has been suspended pending a decision about the remainder of the team’s schedule.
The decision to suspend the season was made after a complaint earlier this week alerted the University to several materials, including content on the University-sponsored men’s swimming and diving team listserv, that was vulgar and offensive, as well as misogynistic and racist in nature.
“We make clear to all of our student-athletes that they represent Princeton University at all times, on and off the playing surface and in and out of season, and we expect appropriate, respectful conduct from them at all times,” Samaan said. “The behavior that we have learned about is simply unacceptable. It is antithetical to the values of our athletic program and of the University, and will not be tolerated.
“After reviewing the situation with Coach Orr, we have decided to suspend the season, and all associated team activities, effective immediately,” Samaan added. “In the coming days we will make a determination about the status of the team’s remaining schedule and we also will work collaboratively to determine additional actions aimed at education and positive culture building for the team.”
This comes within weeks after Harvard cancelled their men’s soccer season over grossly sexist comments on the team’s Google Group site, and Columbia canceled a men’s wrestling meet and opened an investigation over racist and sexist comments on the team’s GroupMe site.
I’m sure this isn’t limited to male athletes at Ivy League universities. But the Ivy League presents itself and its alumni as the Cream of America’s Crop.
How creamy? Well, fourteen U.S. Presidents, including the last four, have been Ivy League graduates. Likewise 36 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and too many members of Congress and federal agency heads to count. Plus hundreds if not thousands of CEOs, Wall Street titans, and high-profile media personalities.
With so many Ivy League students headed for the highest positions in our culture, it’s entirely fair for Ivy League institutions to hold those students, including their student-athletes, to the highest standards of behavior.
And the Washington Post’s Danielle Paquette explains how the rise of the Letch-elect has made that more difficult:
Popular culture exacerbates this behavior, implicitly granting young men permission to partake in conversations they’d be ashamed to share with their mothers, said Jackson Katz, an anti-sexism educator and author of Man Enough: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and the Politics of Presidential Masculinity. Trump, he points out, dismissed his disparaging remarks about women, which were caught on tape in 2005 and released a month before the election, as “locker room talk.”
“They might think, perhaps subconsciously, ‘The most powerful man in the world can do this,’” Katz said, “‘so I can, too.’”
Will it continue to get more difficult once he’s the Letch-in-Chief? Well, he did whine that Time named him “Person of the Year” rather than “Man of the Year.” So my guess is he’ll continue to whine about ‘political correctness’ and demand we all accept open racism and sexism …
… and he and other conservatives will continue to lash out at universities that expect men to behave. I hope colleges and universities will continue to stand up as Harvard, Columbia, and Princeton have. This isn’t just “locker room talk.” It’s the enculturation of our future leaders.
Photo Credit: iStockPhoto
Good day and good nuts