Toxic racism permeates numerous St. Olaf athletic programsAre there any witty gay men left to explain to Kids These Days that “microaggression” is the most self-defeating jargon term ever? What would Gore Vidal have said? Oscar Wilde? Paul Lynde?
St. Olaf athletes of color leave teams and speak out against microaggressions; complacent coaches
Published May 5, 2017, 2:57 p.m. – 268 views
During the recent outcry against racism at St. Olaf, I received a letter from Mercy Garriga ’18 detailing her decision to resign from the women’s track and field team due to blatant racism and destructive microaggressions condescendingly issued by coaches and players alike, targeting her as well as numerous other St. Olaf athletes of color. …
Rudo Nyakanda ’19 and Juliette Emmanuel ’19, like Garriga, are former women’s track and field athletes of color who decided to quit after being burdened with a season’s worth of microaggressions that alienated them from the remainder of the St. Olaf team. …
Beyond the rift with the coaching staff, Nyakanda and Emmanuel also experienced microaggressions from their fellow runners, immediately feeling alienated from conversations and events, if not ignored entirely….
This inexcusable example of unapologetic racism exposes noticeable and concerning trends among the St. Olaf athletic community. The responsibility lies with the student athletes who initiate these destructive acts with racial slurs and microaggressions.
Furthermore, it also rests firmly on the shoulders of complacent coaches who fail to initiate serious action to purge racism from their programs. Currently void of any serious dialogue about or punishment for acts of racism, coaches must be more proactive in educating Ole athletes on microaggressions while enforcing inclusivity at all times with a more discerning and critical eye. …
Players have observed and experienced brutal instances of segregation on top of daily instances of microaggressive behavior towards students of color on the team.
With numerous racist offenses and microaggressions displayed by a noteworthy portion of Ole athletes and the detached, dispassionate responses from athletic coaches who fail to seriously consider and address such matters, St. Olaf athletics would be a great place to start.