The Columbia University wrestling team is in hot water after the Columbia student paper, BWOG, leaked what members of the team were saying in a series of racist and sexist text/GroupMe messages sent between members of the wrestling team from 2014 to today. The paper released a sample of the texts, which they’ve made anonymous in an attempt not “to defame any individuals, but to bring up a larger question of how this sort of culture has continued for so long among students who are supposed to represent the University.”
Update: Columbia University has suspended the wrestling team for the rest of the season.
Just like the Harvard men’s soccer team email scandal that happened just weeks before, the messages from the Columbia wrestling team are not going to go over well. We’ve embedded a couple of the texts for you below.
We don’t know any of the people on the team personally, but it’s very likely that the Columbia wrestling team isn’t the only group sending inappropriate/racist/sexist messages to one another. In fact, we know that’s not the case. But rather than just focus on Columbia or Harvard or whoever, I think it’s important for some of our younger men to think more clearly now, in today’s world, about what they’re saying and who they could be hurting, even in the coveted “locker room” (which by the way, is a safe space that’s somehow avoided all criticism from those who hate the idea of a “safe space”).
Certain American citizens have made it very clear that they don’t feel safe in their own country, so I challenge everyone to maybe take the high road for the foreseeable future, even when behind closed doors.
As for the school, they’re not likely to give the team just a little slap on the wrist, especially after we saw how severely Harvard punished their own extremely successful soccer team. Here’s the official statement from Columbia University:
Columbia University has zero tolerance in its athletics programs for the group messaging and texts sent by several members of the men’s varsity wrestling team. They are appalling, at odds with the core values of the University, violate team guidelines, and have no place in our community.
Upon learning yesterday of these messages, Columbia’s Department of Athletics and our office of Student Conduct and Community Standards initiated an investigation. The Department of Athletics has decided that, as the investigation proceeds, Columbia wrestlers will not compete in Binghamton University’s open meet this weekend.