The president of Monmouth University in New Jersey has launched an investigation after homophobic taunts were directed from the stands by students at a basketball player from a visiting team.
“Stick to Grindr,” read a sign held by a student during a men’s basketball game at the West Long Branch campus on Friday night.
Other students in the arena held up signs displaying an image of a Siena College player’s profile on the dating app Tinder, according to The Asbury Park Press.
Monmouth University President Patrick Leahy said in a statement Saturday that he was made aware of “highly offensive actions” by several students directed at opposing players.
“Please be assured that we are working swiftly to gather additional details and to directly address the behavior with those involved,” the statement said. “We value every member of our campus community. Strong and inclusive communities are built on a bond of trust. When that bond is broken, we take it very seriously. Discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated on this campus.”
A message to the Monmouth University community yesterday. pic.twitter.com/gqntsrffUl
— Patrick F. Leahy (@PatrickFLeahy) March 8, 2020
Lisa Witkowski, a spokeswoman for Siena College, a few miles outside Albany, New York, said the college was waiting to hear the findings of the Monmouth inquiry.
According to NBC News: “The incident occurred two days after a Gay Pride Night was held at a Monmouth University men’s basketball game. The event was organized by the captain of the university’s women’s tennis team, Caroline Mattise, who is gay.”
The homophobic incident was met with a swift backlash on social media.
“As someone that played football at Monmouth and takes pride in being a Hawk this is unnecessary and disgusting behavior,” one person tweeted. “So disappointing that some students have to be idiots and represent the University in such a negative light. They should be banned from future sports events.”
“Those who wonder why it’s important to celebrate Pride nights in sports, here is a prime example.” another said. “Why can’t we just let athletes play?
“It’s 2020, you ignorant shitheels,” a third person wrote. “Do better.”