Members of the baseball team at Saint Louis University will not be punished for a group chat that called President Obama a “watermelon eatin baboon.”
The group chat took place during a trip to Washington, D.C. in May 2015 and included racist remarks about a “KFC in the White House” with “rivers of the grape kind,” the Riverfront Times reports.
A participant in the conversation saved a screen grab of the chat and sent it to his roommate, Brenden Twomey. Nearly a year later, Twomey’s girlfriend filed a formal bias incident report with the Jesuit university. Last week, the incoming president of the school’s Black Student Alliance posted a redacted version of the screenshot on Facebook.
While the post caused outrage—and, according to Twomey, backlash against him for sharing it—the school has ruled that the baseball players will not be penalized for their conversation.
Dr. Mona Hicks, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students, explained to the campus paper: “We … need to respect laws. This was a private conversation, or at least the perception of private between in-group parties.”