Five members of the women’s soccer team at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington, were suspended after photographs of them in blackface were posted on social media. The White soccer players were in costume as the Jackson 5.
In a statement posted online, Lawrence Burnley, associate vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the university, wrote “the student who posted the photo has since removed it and expressed remorse for the insensitivity of the decision to dress in this manner. The administration is taking further steps to examine the developments around the students’ decision to engage in this insensitive act. It is critical that the student body and Whitworth community learn from this behavior and consider not only the real or perceived intent of such actions, but also the detrimental impact they have on members of our community, regardless of intent. Whitworth has absolutely no tolerance for the type of behavior demonstrated.”
Whitworth University enrolls about 2,400 undergraduate students and 300 graduate students. Blacks are 2 percent of the undergraduate student body.