It’s a running theme that we’ve seen more this semester than ever before: prestigious colleges and universities suspending their men’s sports teams for inappropriate emails sent to one another. First, it was the Harvard men’s soccer team, then it was Columbia’s wrestling team, then Amherst’s cross-country team, and now it’s happened to Princeton’s men’s swimming and diving team.
According to The New York Times, who first reported on the story, Princeton has suspended the men’s swimming and diving team after the administration learned that members of the team had been sending offensive comments amongst themselves about the women’s team. Unlike the Columbia and Harvard scandals, The NYT wouldn’t release segments or snippets from the conversations, but Mollie Marcaux Samaan, the director of athletics at Princeton, had this to say about the situation:
“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.”
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that this has been a pretty educational year for college sports teams when it comes to what they can and can’t get away with saying in emails or text messages. What these guys might have thought were private conversations are actually only as private as the people you’re sharing them with.
This isn’t the first time that Princeton’s men’s swimming and diving team has gotten in trouble. Last year, they made headlines when members of the team wore loincloths and were accused of mocking African culture after they performed as “Urban Congo.” You can watch that performance below.