June 29, 2021

Vanderbilt, MSU athletic directors condemn racially offensive language used at CWS finals

Therese Apel


Vanderbilt’s athletic director condemned the use of racially offensive language directed toward the parents of some of the Commodore baseball players at Game One of the College World Series finals on Monday.

Athletic Director Candice Storey Lee tweeted that she is “deeply troubled” about the incident.

“This is absolutely unacceptable and disgraceful behavior, and such hateful language has no place anywhere in our society,” she wrote.

Mississippi State athletic director John Cohen also posted a statement to Twitter calling the incident “in direct conflict with the values of both institutions and our fan bases.” He went on to point out that the College World Series should be a celebration of collegiate baseball, and the turmoil that is caused takes away from the accomplishments of the student athletes that earned their way to the national championship.

After a controversial road to the finals in which North Carolina State was sent home for several Covid-19 cases on the team, thus giving Vanderbilt an automatic slot in the big show, the series now features the defending NCAA Champs and Mississippi State. The Bulldogs are hoping for their first National Championship after regular appearances in the post season for years.

The Commodores won 8-2 on Monday, but seven of those runs were scored in the first inning behind nervous pitching from MSU. Without the entire first inning, the score would have been tied at 1-1 at the end of the game.

It has not been released if it is known who the alleged offenders were, nor which players’ parents were targeted.

According to the Associated Press, TD Ameritrade Park spokeswoman Kristyna Engdahl said stadium officials did know about the racial slurs, and that the offenders left the stadium after security was called. It’s unclear if they were ejected or left on their own.

“We do stand behind the guests who were subjected to this unacceptable and appalling language, and we’re sincerely sorry for their experience in our stadium,” she wrote in an email quoted by the Associated Press.

“We absolutely denounce this behavior and are saddened to learn that it took place in TD Ameritrade Park Omaha,” Engdahl wrote. “Tonight, we will take additional security measures to ensure that everyone may feel safe in our stadium.”

Engdahl said there is an investigation going on into the incident.

Tuesday night’s game takes place at 6 p.m.

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