The softball team at the College of Charleston will undergo diversity and inclusion training after some of its players appeared in racist costumes in a photo on Twitter.

In the photo, three players wearing dirty white shirts and fake mustaches are flanked by two players wearing sunglasses, grey shirts, and khaki pants.

The photo was uploaded on Halloween morning, according to CofC spokesperson Mike Robertson, just hours before Interim President Steve Osborne sent a campus-wide email warning students not to repeat similar past incidents.
[content-1] “I want to remind everyone in our campus community to make smart choices today and tonight for their Halloween costumes,” Osborne said in an email sent that afternoon. “Stop and think through the impact your choice may have on another.”

Osborne later denounced Wednesday’s photo in a letter sent to students Thursday afternoon.

“This poor decision-making by some of our student-athletes causes harm on our campus and in the greater community,” he said. “I am severely disappointed in these student-athletes and that something like this has, once again, happened at our university.”

A group of faculty, staff, and students will host open office hours in the Robert Scott Small Building on Thurs. Nov. 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. so that members of the campus community can “discuss their feelings on this incident and our campus climate,” according to Osborne’s letter. Another session will take place on Fri. Nov. 9 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
[content-3] In his email to students, Osborne attached a written apology from the school’s softball team.

“As team members, we sincerely apologize for the insensitivity that we showed in the choice of several Halloween costumes that some team members wore,” the letter reads. “We promise to grow from this experience. Moving forward, our team, which we recognize is diverse, will seek better ways to celebrate and embrace our cultural differences.”

“I accept their apology, but now comes the hard part: where we put action to words and make meaningful change,” Osborne said. “In line with that, the softball team will be undergoing diversity and inclusion training beginning next week.”


Love Best of Charleston?

Help the Charleston City Paper keep Best of Charleston going every year with a donation. Or sign up to become a member of the Charleston City Paper club.