27 Tufts players suspended over racist, sexist insults

Twenty-seven Tufts men's lacrosse players will be suspended for two games this season after "unacceptable behavior," including racist and sexist insults, at a women's volleyball game against Smith College last semester, the Tufts Daily student newspaper has reported.

An external investigation was launched by the school's Office of Equal Opportunity after a student accused the players of "calling out sexist and racist insults that disparagingly referenced the Smith players by name and threatened them during the game" Sept. 21 at Tufts, according to the newspaper. Read the full Tufts Daily article here. An op-ed piece in the Daily that preceded the investigation details some of the insults.

“The investigation confirmed that some Tufts students behaved highly inappropriately and in a manner not consistent with the values of good sportsmanship held by Tufts or NESCAC,” John Barker, dean of undergraduate and graduate students, told the Daily. “Specifically, Tufts found that a group of students from the men’s lacrosse team repeatedly made offensive and demeaning comments about players in the game and/or encouraged other team members in such misconduct."

Alcohol played a role in the incident as well.

“They also engaged in inappropriate behaviors involving alcohol, such as underage drinking, providing alcohol to minors, attending a sports event while intoxicated and consuming alcohol at the volleyball match,” Barker said.

Tufts, ranked No. 4 in Division III in the Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook and No. 1 in the New England Small College Athletic Conference, is scheduled to visit No. 1-ranked Stevenson on March 19 for the Jumbos' fourth game of the season.

Tufts played Salisbury in the 2010 and 2011 national championship games, beating the Sea Gulls in the first matchup before losing the second. Last season the Jumbos lost to SUNY Cortland in the national semifinals.

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