Amherst College suspended its cross country team for sending sexist and racist emails, the New York Daily News reported.
The emails — first obtained by Amherst’s student-run news magazine, the Indicator — were sent between June 2013 and August 2015 and included explicit details about the alleged sexual histories of women on campus. Some of the messages referred to individuals as a “walking STD” or a “meatslab,” according to the Indicator. The Indicator characterized other messages as “racist, homophobic, and transphobic.”
Amherst announced shortly after the messages were public that the team would be barred from practicing or competing until an investigation by an independent legal counsel was complete.
“The messages are appalling,” Amherst President Biddy Martin said in a statement on the college’s website. “They are not only vulgar, they are cruel and hateful. No attempt to rationalize them will change that. My reaction is one of profound sadness, disappointment, and anger.”
The Amherst messages are the latest in a slew of sexist and racist messages sent by college sports teams. Last month, Harvard University suspended its men’s soccer team after an investigation revealed the team had participated in a widespread practice of rating women’s looks. Later that month, Columbia suspended members of its wrestling team who sent misogynistic and racist text messages.
Students at Amherst expressed their anger with the messages on Monday, and students hung signs that read “WOMEN ARE NOT YOUR MEAT!” in campus buildings, according to the Globe. Anqi Cao, a senior at Amherst, told the Boston Globe she hopes the incident generates a dialogue about these issues on campus.
“There should be more general conversation encouraged, or intentionally set up, that mobilizes people from different parties to get together and talk,” Chao told the Globe.
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