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Vandy Baseball Parents Face Racial Slurs During CWS

Brock Fritz

While the College World Series will be decided Wednesday night, the Vanderbilt and Mississippi State athletic directors have spent some of the week responding to the fallout of an alleged racist incident during Game 1 Monday in Omaha, Neb.

Clinton Yates, a columnist for The Undefeated, tweeted from the game Monday night, when the Vanderbilt baseball team claimed an 8-2 win over Mississippi State to take a 1-0 lead in the three-game series. Yates said he saw an “unacceptable and inappropriate incident” in which Vanderbilt parents were subjected to racial slurs during the game.

“Look. I’m not gonna write a whole story about this but let me set the scene. Most of the black players’ parents sit together. They ROUTINELY deal with micro to macro aggressions that they basically just wear, bc well, black folks have to do that sometimes. boiled over tonight,” Yates tweeted. “I know this bc I’ve quite literally seen it with my own eyes. Short version: a bunch of drunk Miss State fans decided that when the game was out of hand that the n-bomb needed to fly. Authorities got involved and everyone is okay, but yeah nah. That Cant Happen. It did.”

Yates appeared on “The Paul Finebaum Show” Tuesday, with the Nashville Tennessean reporting Yates said, "Basically what occurred was, as soon as the game got out of hand, the entire level of the discourse went up tremendously in terms of the chirping, in terms of the such-and-such. And when it got to the level of what we'll just call: the word you're not supposed to say. And that happened on multiple occasions is when, finally, they had to decide that police needed to get involved." 

Yates said he spoke about the incident with “the manager’s wife,” the mother of a player and an usher.

"I'm going to believe them in that scenario, because there is no reason to make that up — especially considering what I'd seen with my eyes literally an inning before in terms of the vitriol in that park," Yates said.

“I am deeply troubled that some of our student-athlete parents were subjected to racist slurs during last night’s game,” Vanderbilt athletic director Candice Storey Lee tweeted. “This is absolutely unacceptable and disgraceful behavior, and such hateful language has no place anywhere in our society.”

Mississippi State athletic director John Cohen also responded with a tweet, saying, “We join Vanderbilt in declaring such behavior unacceptable and in direct conflict with the values of both institutions and our fan bases. The College World Series serves as a celebration of the entire sport of college baseball. Highly inappropriate events must neither be tolerated nor allowed to detract from the on-the-field accomplishments of the student-athletes and their teams who have earned the right to participate on this national stage.”

NCAA associate director of communications Meghan Durham said that the association added security measures for the remainder of the series, including Mississippi State’s 13-2 win Tuesday night.

“Racist and abusive language has no place in college sports and is not tolerated at NCAA championships, including the Men’s College World Series,” Durham said in a statement, according to WKRN. The NCAA is working with our partners at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha to gather more information about what occurred at last night’s game and put additional security measures in place. Any parties responsible for unacceptable actions during the games will be removed by stadium security.”

3 News Now received a statement from Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority director of communications Kristyna Engdahl, who said, "We understand there was an interaction between fans on Monday night that involved use of racial slurs. We absolutely denounce this behavior and are saddened to learn that it took place in TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. Tonight, we will take additional security measures to ensure that everyone may feel safe in our stadium. Also, we are reminding the public that you may text our Guest Services Department for assistance at any time by texting OMAHA [space] your issue and location to 69050."

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