2017 racial slur in UNO baseball locker room surfaces

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Will Patterson    Jessica Wade
Opinion Editor   Editor in Chief

In 2017, the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s (UNO) baseball team experienced a hate-related incident when one of the players wrote a phrase that included a racial slur on a locker room board, according to emails obtained by The Gateway. The writing was then witnessed by a prospective baseball player and his family while touring the facility.

The email, sent to Assistant to the Chancellor Charlotte Russell by Professor Larry Bradley inquired if the University was aware of the incident.

“A well respected player, coach, and father of the local baseball community told me some information today,” the email stated. “According to this person, a black recruit and his family were visiting UNO and UNO Baseball staff, when there appeared on a chalk board in a room, the phrase ‘No N-word are welcome.'”

Russell replied to the email, “This matter was reported to my office and addressed appropriately in 2017. Thank you for your continuing concern for the reputation of the University.”

When asked for comment Russell said that because it is a student matter, she is unable to answer the Gateway’s questions.

Bradley, a geology professor at UNO, plans to bring this issue—and racism issues as a whole—to the Board of Regents’ attention.

“This is not to make the university look bad,” Bradley said. “This is their opportunity to bring this out in the open and make it look good. To see what they’ve been doing about it since.”

According to a source affiliated with the team, the player was kicked off the team after the incident.

University Communication Associate Director Sam Petto provided a statement indicating that the university is able to withhold documents pertaining to the incident because they contain identifiable student information.

“Speaking generally, I can say that UNO is committed to creating and maintaining a welcoming and inclusive campus community. Every individual is valued and should feel welcomed and included as a member of this community,” Petto said. “To that end, UNO encourages reporting of any concerning messages or behavior.”

Bradley speculated that the University took extra efforts to prevent this incident from going public at a time when some state senators were looking to cut funding for Nebraska University.

This would not be Bradley’s first time voicing his concerns at a Board of Regents meeting. In the past, Bradley was joined by several other adjunct professors to share their belief that UNO was exploiting part-time labor through excessive use of adjunct professors.

Bradley took issue with the fact that he was only given around five minutes the last time he spoke at the meeting. He is hoping to get this issue put on the meeting agenda and have more time dedicated to a discussion about racism on Nebraska University campuses.

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