Princeton University's swimming and diving team has been suspended after racist and sexist messages came to light from the team members.
The Office of Communications at the university issued a statement on the evening of Dec. 15, to confirm the action taken against the team.
In the statement, Director of Athletics Mollie Marcoux Samaan said, "We make clear to all of our student-athletes that they represent Princeton University at all times, on and off the playing surface and in and out of season, and we expect appropriate, respectful conduct from them at all times. The behavior that we have learned about is simply unacceptable. It is antithetical to the values of our athletic program and of the University, and will not be tolerated."
The New York Times reported that a university spokesperson "would not discuss specifics of the other materials, including their content or when they were created, but confirmed that the comments were made about members of the women’s swimming and diving team."
This is not the first time the swimming and diving team has come under fire. In 2015, they started a band called "Urban Congo," which was deemed racially offensive.
Princeton is only the latest Ivy League team to be suspended over sexist and racist behavior. The now-infamous Harvard men's soccer team was suspended over their "ranking" system of the women's soccer team.
This trend in male teams sexualizing and degrading their school's female teams is a disturbing and troubling one. In a world where female students are still called "coeds," hearkening back to the time when women were first allowed into universities, male athletes seem to think themselves superior and belonging — while female athletes are just decorative additions to their schools.
The university is currently evaluating whether or not the swimming and diving team will be permitted to compete in the future. Princeton has taken appropriate action so far to make sure their students know that racism and sexism will not be tolerated, but hopefully they will take a more hands-on approach to ultimately addressing the problem. It will take more than suspension to change these men's archaic beliefs about their fellow students.
Banner Image Credit: Flickr, Harshil Shah