Appalachian State Does Not Tolerate Racism
Appalachian State’s Men’s Tennis team member, Spencer Brown, spewed out racially charged comments during a match with a black A&T tennis player, on Sunday, January 28th.
The App State’s Men’s Tennis team is not very popular around campus or in the media, but oh how the script has been flipped. Because of App State freshman, Spencer Brown, Appalachian State is now the talk of the town and also-the national news.
Brown faced A&T tennis team member, John Wilson, who also holds the title of senior class president, in two consecutive matches. There was continual smack talk being exchanged between the two opponents during both matches. Brown swept Wilson 6-1, 6-1 and during play, Brown directed a racist comment at Wilson. Wilson approached Appalachian’s head coach, Bob Lake, to confront Brown’s comment and Lake responded by saying, “we have a black guy on our team.”
After the tennis match, Wilson took to the powers of Twitter to expose the racial comments Brown and Lake had directed towards him during the match.
Wilson’s tweet blew up. It went viral. Brown and Lake were immediately dragged on social media. Twitter users were directing hate comments and death threats towards Brown. Many online news outlets began to contact Wilson to get more information detailing the story. The story was buzzing all over online media sources.
The director of App State athletics, Doug Gillin, released a statement two days after the incident had occurred.
After the announcement of the two suspensions, word began to travel. The story’s popularity has students and student-athletes all across the campus of Appalachian talking.
“I was shocked when I first heard of this happening,” said App State sophomore, Jordan Barksdale. “To think of our generation as one who values diversity and inclusion, and for the most part, millennials are just that. But, situations like this show that these values are still being taught in 2018. We have to make it known that people like that can’t and shouldn’t be allowed to infuse their bigoted logic and views into society.”
Barksdale went on to say that he believes App State administration handled the situation very promptly and correctly. “Suspending Brown indefinitely sent a message that App does not tolerate any forms of blatant hatred or racism.”
Sophomore guard on the App State’s women’s basketball team, Armani Hampton, also shared her thoughts about the incident.
“I believe both the player and the coach should have been suspended indefinitely,” Hampton said. “Regardless of the situation, a racist comment should not have been seen. App should not want someone of that nature to represent the school. Both of them were wrong in what they said.”
Brown and Lake’s mistake will haunt the reputation of the App State’s men’s tennis team with or without their presence on the court or with the program. The Mountaineer’s season will continue into the weeks ahead. Hopefully they can turn their reputation back around and can prove themselves to be a part of App State’s mission to be inclusive and tolerant.