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Saluki Athletics issues apology about controversial photo

By Tommy Bell, Director of Saluki Athletics

To the Campus Community:

On behalf of Saluki Athletics, I am truly sorry for the insensitive photo that was posted in the Rec Center women’s locker room. While the freshmen involved intended no offense, the photo was offensive and in poor taste, and our coaching staff immediately removed it once they learned about it. We want you to know that this incident does not reflect who we are as an athletic program. We are in fact, quite diverse and have a departmental “Inclusion & Diversity Value Statement” that reads as follows:

“We in Saluki Athletics believe that each individual can contribute a unique perspective based on life experience that will make our program better as a whole. We will strive to create an environment of inclusion, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, socio-economic status, national origin, sexual orientation, disability and religion where each individual student-athlete and staff member feels valued and welcome to participate as a member of the athletics family.”

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MORE: This is what prompted Bell’s statement

Clearly, we failed to live up to our values in this circumstance because the photo did not contribute to an environment of inclusion. We will use this opportunity to educate our student-athletes and staff on the importance of sensitivity to all cultures, working in conjunction with staff from the Center of Inclusive Excellence and Office of Associate Chancellor for Institutional Diversity. Saluki Athletics is also looking forward to participating in Chancellor Colwell’s call to action for a campus-wide discussion of these types of issues.

Sincerely,

Tommy Bell

Director of Athletics

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