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Women’s Soccer endures verbal abuse from spectators at Guilford College away match

Staff Photographer
Midfielder Rish Gist looks to pass the ball up the field in a home match.

Updated – Thursday, October 5, 1:30 PM

On Thursday, Sept. 26, the Virginia State University Women’s Soccer team faced “racial slurs and inappropriate sounds” from spectators who attended their game against Guilford College according to several reports and a statement released by Virginia State University.

According to the statement, Guilford fans “reportedly yelled the N-word and made monkey noises” at the players on the field.

Presidents from both universities issued statements regarding the matter.

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“Racist and abusive language has no place in college sports… Our students-athletes work very hard to represent our university, and we must work together to ensure everyone can enjoy a safe and inclusive environment,” VSU President Dr. Abdullah said in a memo published on the university’s website.

“According to the information that I have already gathered, loud outbursts from a group of spectators included profanity and derogatory remarks toward the Virginia State team. It was in very poor taste and was very poor sportsmanship by anyone’s definition,” Guildford College President Kyle Farmbry said in a statement on the GC website.

According to the press release received by VSU students and faculty, Guilford College has reached out to VSU administrators with an apology.

Dr. Kyle Farmbry, Guilford College President, has reportedly reached out and apologized to President Abdullah and VSU Associate Vice President for Athletics, Peggy Davis.

VSU stands firm on how student-athletes deserve an apology per the press release.

“VSU has made it clear to Guilford College officials that the university will not tolerate this behavior from their fans and would still like them and their fans to apologize directly to our student-athletes.”

“Our consistent goal has always been to provide a quality athletic experience for our student-athletes on and off campus, which does not include inappropriate, unacceptable, or racially insensitive comments by spectators, coaches, officials, or students,” Davis said.

Guilford College is leading an investigation on what happened during the game.

Update published on Thursday, October 5 at 1:30 p.m.:

Guilford College has released a statement that states that after speaking with 30 athletics staff members, non-athletics staff members, students, and parents who were at the game, they found that the heckling was from a group of 14 individuals who were seated in the bleachers.

The statement also indicated that they could not identify any individual who directed any racial slur towards any VSU players.

In addition, their findings stated that although they admit there was poor sportsmanship by the group of students, they could not verify any racial epithets nor monkey noises. They do conclude that the game manager “should have been a more active participant in managing the crowd.”

For more from their findings click on the link below.

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  • J

    Jerome W. MappOct 11, 2023 at 10:25 am

    This is beyond a “sad state of affairs.” It demonstrates that despite the gains we have made in this great nation, there is still a core of human beings who continue to demonstrate their ignorance, lack of humanity, and willingness to continue the racism and prejudice that continue to plague America. Those VSU student-athletes who endured that sorry spectacle are better off ignoring the verbal brutality that is reminiscent of a time, not that long ago, when neanderthals like this spewed hatred towards people that they don’t know why they hate. Move on past this.


    Jerome W. Mapp
    Deputy Public Affairs Officer
    Womack Army Medical Center
    Fort Liberty, N.C.
    Cell: 202-394-2229
    Mobile: 910-824-2820
    U.S. Navy (Retired)
    U.S. Marine Corps (Veteran)
    VSU Class of 1983
    Former editor of The Virginia Statesman