SMU football team members’ posts mock consent

Even as the university faced intense scrutiny following a frosh week rape chant, members of SMU’s varsity football team made posts that trivialized sexual violence

SMU Huskies Football team playing against Mount Allison. (Photo: Kate Ross)

SMU Huskies Football team playing against Mount Allison. (Photo: Kate Ross)

In the months following national attention over a frosh week rape chant at Saint Mary’s University, players on the university’s football team have been posting public tweets endorsing violence against women, condoning bullying and condemning homosexuality.

The university launched a highly publicized president’s council report to investigate attitudes specifically toward sexual violence on campus, however members of the football team have been making posts that denigrate and trivialize the issue of sexual consent.

Rhys Tansley, who is still registered on the roster but stopped playing for the team in the fall, published a misogynistic tweet in October.

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He wished mortal violence on one woman later that month.

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On Jan. 12, receiver Tyler Ganhao retweeted a message by Bad Advice Dog reading “See a girl who’s feeling down? Feel her up.”

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He favourited a message by Bad Advice Dog reading “No means yes and yes means anal”. Favourites are viewable by anyone with a Twitter account.

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Perry Marchese, coach of the Saint Mary’s University varsity football team, had not been following his team on Twitter when UNews presented him with examples of tweets written by some of his players.

“Some of them are upsetting for sure,” Marchese said after being shown five of the players’ tweets.

“It’s very disappointing to see it. Very disappointing, absolutely.”

He has watched their Facebook profiles but to his knowledge, no one at SMU has the job of monitoring the social media presence of student athletes. Most SMU football players are active in social media, with more than a dozen active on Twitter.

Marchese says that earlier in the year, someone pointed out to him his players were tweeting about a party they were specifically told to not mention on social media. Marchese says he had the team run as punishment.

Since then, he hasn’t followed their tweets, but has told them repeatedly to watch the image they portray as Huskies.

The players retweet each other, post pictures from their lives and are followed by accounts associated with SMU. 

On Oct. 9 Troy Adams, linebacker, tweeted at someone calling them a fag.

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Team members’ posts also belittle gays and members of Asian cultures.

On Nov. 10, linebacker Keith Langille retweeted a message by @BroCulture: “School is like a boner. It’s long and hard unless you’re Asian.”

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Some of the tweets that could be taken as offensive are quotes from popular media, such as song lyrics.

Song lyrics from rapper Immortal Technique’s “Black Vikings”.

“The song lyrics, a couple times, have gotten me,” says Marchese. “I’ve seen some stuff put up on Facebook and I’ll message them [...] and they’ll say it’s just a quote from a song.”

He says he asks them all the time to remove posts he’s seen as offensive from Facebook, and that they are constantly educated on monitoring their own social media.

“We preach it all the time, we talk about it all the time and to actually see some evidence that they aren’t getting it is a good education for me.”

Perry Marchese, head coach of the Saint Mary's University Huskies football team.

Perry Marchese, head coach of the Saint Mary’s University Huskies football team. (Photo: Jesse Ward)

The team’s online roster on the SMU website is outdated, including at least two players no longer playing for the team, Rhys Tansley and Jordan Lauther.

But Marchese says he wants his players to have the mentality they’ll always be members of the team.

“They’re always gonna be perceived as good and bad as a Saint Mary’s Football player, no matter what they do – and for the rest of their life, really,” says Marchese. “There’ll be guys on there who aren’t on the team anymore and if something happened with one of them somewhere down the road, it’ll still be mentioned: SMU football player.”

President’s Council Report

The university commissioned a review of campus attitudes toward sexual consent in response to the rape chants at a frosh week event at SMU in September. The President’s Council, led by Dalhousie law professor Wayne MacKay, released its report in December. The report contains 20 suggestions for changing the campus’ culture.

MacKay was unavailable for comment.

The football team was at a training camp off-campus at the time of the rape chants, but the report contains many recommendations specifically regarding the behaviour of student athletes.

In relation to preventing sexualized violence and fostering a safe and respectful learning environment, the report suggests it is important for SMU to consider “the important role that student athletes can play in shaping peer norms.” It goes on to say varsity athletics have a high profile on campus, and “coaches can play a leadership role in changing varsity sport from a culture that is accepting of sexualized violence to one that speaks out against sexualized violence.”

Sexualized violence is not a subject that comes up in Marchese’s talks with his team.

“I guess you sort of imply it all the time when you talk about being a good community member, being a good student athlete, being an ambassador of Saint Mary’s,” says Marchese. “We did the Walk A Mile In Her Shoes for Violence Against Women. So, that’s one way we educate our guys for sure.”

The report mentions some SMU students reported “feeling a ‘macho vibe’ from the jock culture at SMU and feeling uncomfortable in places like the cafeteria where male athletes were engaged in chauvinistic behaviour involving sexist jokes.” Players have used derogatory terms towards women, such as Joel Chapman, offensive lineman, on Dec. 31.

Staci Simpson, co-coordinator of the SMU Women’s Centre and a graduate student, sat on the President’s Council.

“I’m disgusted,” said Simpson upon seeing some of the tweets. “I’m disappointed that this kind of attitude is still there. I’m still not surprised, it’s still so deeply embedded in jock culture that I know it’s one of the things we need to change.”

Marchese has had a copy of the President’s Council Report on his desk since it was available, but he has only “flipped through it,” not gone through it in detail. He says it is sometimes brought up in coach’s meetings.

But Marchese says he doesn’t know if he is educated enough to specifically talk to his team about issues of sexualized violence.

He says the athletics department has done work on anti-bullying in the past and it will be jumping back into this. Some of the player’s tweets imply violence.

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Marchese says the athletics department has lectures where it’s mandatory for all student athletes to be in attendance, but he can’t say if sexualized violence is specifically covered there.

What happens now?

University president Colin Dodds has approved every recommendation of the report. It says the school should establish a code of conduct that will cover “standards for the use of media and Internet by all members of the university community.”

At the same time, SMU communications director Steve Proctor says it would be unrealistic for the university to monitor every tweet made by SMU students.

Proctor was read some of the tweets on Friday and maintained that the university is not responsible for the personal Twitter accounts of student athletes.

Gorba Bhandari, president of the Student Union of Saint Mary’s University, agrees it’s “hard to monitor everything.”

“Hopefully once the recommendations are starting to be in place we would see more awareness talked of in athletics, or in these athletes,” says Bhandari, who sat on the President’s Council, “and hopefully nothing like this would happen.”

Upon seeing some of the tweets, Marchese said he would talk to his team through Facebook.

“I’ll say [...] I’ve seen a couple of the posts, a few of the posts, and there’s a lot of offensive stuff going on there. You’re jeopardizing your chance to stay a Saint Mary’s Husky if you keep doing it.”

Since then, some members of the team have made their accounts private and deleted tweets. Members of the team did not respond to requests for comment on this story.

In researching this story UNews examined a variety of tweets from student athletes at Dalhousie, Acadia and SMU. No similar patterns were found.

Excerpts from the Twitter feeds of players of the Saint Mary’s Huskies Football team

 

70 Comments

  1. Ephena

    January 27, 2014

    He’s not “Educated” enough about sexual violence to talk to his team about it? What? What kind of education do you need to talk about consent – you need to get it, consent must be explicit, drunk means no consent, oh, and guys, try not to rape anyone.

    Reply
  2. B

    January 27, 2014

    An extremely quick online search shows that Dalhousie, the alma mater of the one of the journalists that wrote this piece, also has a wide array varsity athletes tweeting profane things spanning sexism, homophobia, and racism.

    I’m not sure why they targeted one university rather than tackling the issue in general. Either way, we’ve got a big societal mess on our hands – plain and simple.

    Reply
    • Anne

      January 27, 2014

      There’s also no need to target varsity athletes. A quick search would also find non athlete males and females making inappropriate comments online.

      Reply
    • SLR

      January 28, 2014

      SMU was the centre of the chant scandal, and so it would be common sense to believe that their top athletes would be careful about continuing to affect the rape culture and degradation of women. That is why they wrote about SMU.

      Reply
  3. Josh

    January 27, 2014

    Just a fluff piece for attention. Going after teenagers twitter favourites to create a scandal – A+ journalism.

    Can someone please experiment with any other varsity team in Halifax? Tell me you wont find anything inappropriate.

    And thank you to the Kings student and the Dal student who took the time to continue this anti-SMU tirade.

    Reply
    • a

      January 27, 2014

      Not only does this continue the anti-SMU campaign but it misses the opportunity to actually make a point.

      This is a social issue, plain and simple. Unfortunately, it is terribly misrepresented as being a SMU issue.

      Anyone can ignore context or circumstance
      and use the 80-character messages of 17/18 year olds to represent whatever they want.

      Reply
      • j

        January 28, 2014

        The best anti-SMU campaign in existence is to witness the quality of its graduates.

        Reply
    • Anon

      January 27, 2014

      Thanks Josh. These “journalists” don’t have the courage to expose similar problems on their own campus!

      Reply
    • KL

      January 28, 2014

      I’ll play devil’s advocate a bit here.

      If I was a journalist and I was to write the 10 millionth article about “misogyny, jock culture, and rape culture” how many people would really give a damn and read/share it? Not nearly as many, that’s just a fact. No one is gripped by the greater issues effecting society.

      I’m not saying these aren’t huge issues that I don’t care extremely deeply about (because I do). I do believe in public opinion though, and stories like this are what sways public opinion.

      Think about the Rehtaeh Parsons story. Girls all over North America (and the world) are sexually assaulted and commit suicide, daily. This one story happened to hit the news, and I would say a lot of positivity came of it. A sad and tragic story to be sure, but it woke the public up to an ever growing issue.

      SMU is going to be that scapegoat for Eastern Canada for the next little while. I’ll give it 6-12 more months and I will bet you we’ll be seeing a few more articles with a few more schools being singled out, journalists saying things along the lines of, “Remember back in January when the SMU scandal was in full tilt, maybe *insert university name* should take some notes on how the school cleaned up that mess” and SMU will be the success story in this greater societal problem.

      Reply
    • Dan

      January 28, 2014

      It’s not an anti-SMU tirade. It’s anti treating women like sexual objects whose sole purpose is to be fucked -because, surprise, they are people too.

      Reply
  4. Robert

    January 27, 2014

    It amazes me people like josh can trivialize this given the past year with bullying, racism and sexism in. Nova Scotia from Rehteh Parsons to the SMU chant. But I guess this is where the problems lies with some thinking this acceptable

    Reply
  5. Julianne

    January 27, 2014

    All those comments are unacceptable for sure. I’m a former varsity female athlete at SMU and I can assure you that this “macho” behaviour from many (not all) of the male athletes was common place. Unfortunate that SMU is targeted in this article though, as I’m sure this goes on at every school. Also, being an athlete, you are under a more of a microscope than the average university student. I guarantee there are equally awful statements and tweets made by other members of the student body as well.

    And just a note to the guy who said that all girls are either *expletive* or out of his league. …there’s a reason they are out of your league. You’re a jerk!!!

    Reply
    • Anne

      January 27, 2014

      I completely agree. I know plenty of non varsity athletes who have hazed fellow students and make comments about rape on the internet. These students aren’t subjected to punishment simply because they are not varsity athletes.

      Reply
  6. Jon Mcgilvary

    January 27, 2014

    We need to stop paying Wayne Mackay all this money to do these “reports”. He’s old, out of touch, and is looking for a quick pay day.

    Reply
    • Pam Rubin

      January 28, 2014

      Wayne MacKay was not paid anything for the SMU report.

      Reply
  7. Unknown

    January 27, 2014

    SMU digs their own holes as a business and educational establishment. This bleeds from football into the schools culture, which a university fosters and creates. These losers don’t care at all about the school, or have any sense of morality. I know the majority are liberal arts because the ones who took a communications course at least have that foundation. Addressing other Universities, of course this happens throughout. Youth have the freedom to express themselves with responsibility that some don’t want to take. I think the point being forgotten in this article, is that a few years back this did result in an actual sexual assault (all football players involved). It’s 2014, culture spreads quickly, and there is a reason Saint Mary’s culture has proven the test of time in being represented as ignorant, impulsive, and lacking any type of honour (on the field, and off). Time for a change, it’s rubbing off onto HRM and the in-debt province (which a majority of these guys, I’m sure, don’t call home outside of school)

    Reply
    • john

      January 27, 2014

      I agree with some of what you said here, but a few years back this was NOT a sexual assault. Don’t be one of those people who just throw around wrong information, you weren’t there and don’t know the full story.

      Reply
    • Jim

      January 27, 2014

      Yeah, its a SMU problem… Clearly. With things like the Steubenville rape happening daily all over the world. Also, even the most cursory of internet searches would reveal millions, actually millions, of these tweets from teens and university-goers everywhere. Its less daunting of a task when its thrown on 1 specific place.

      Reply
  8. Rob

    January 27, 2014

    Clearly the authors of this piece are still upset they got cut from their high school football teams…. Not to mention they’re obviously rattled the cute girl who they never had the courage to talk to in class was to busy chasing jocks to give them the time of day anyways.

    Reply
    • MarkNS

      January 27, 2014

      That may have been true in high school but, as a 51 year old who went to a high school reunion just last year, I can tell you that the rich guys with the hot wives were not the jocks. The jocks ended up primarily as 30 year factory workers or wage slaves in nowhere jobs.

      Reply
    • Anonymous

      January 29, 2014

      It’s not every person’s goal in life to be a football player and some guys are not into cute girls either. What about them? I suppose they can become the subjects of tweets alternatively…

      Reply
  9. Norah

    January 27, 2014

    Coach sounds well intentioned yet apathetic. A team run is a good punishment for not working hard enough in practice. However, it doesn’t instil confidence that he has a real strategy for dealing with some of these attitudes among team members.

    Sure, this isn’t just an issue at SMU. That doesn’t mean that we should ignore it.

    Reply
  10. Unknown

    January 27, 2014

    It’s not soley a SMU problem, it’s a society problem… If you think male varsity athletes from Saint Mary’s are the only people who tweet like that you are clearly misinformed.

    Reply
  11. JB

    January 27, 2014

    These individuals who post this stuff should be ashamed of themselves but if you want to talk about bullying, perhaps you should look in the mirror. You are picking on a single school, who has already been exposed for this and I am sure are going to great lengths to fix this issue as best they can. I can guarantee this type of behavior and social media postingis happening everywhere unfortunately. Do some research and stop picking the low hanging fruit. This is a society issue, not a SMU issue.

    Reply
  12. MacDonald

    January 27, 2014

    By the virtue of being apprenticed by a university, would not such students learn amiable morality? Or has Halifax’s academia been perniciously lecturing racism and sexism?

    Reply
    • TheSnail

      January 27, 2014

      SMU is now a hardcore Secular School. been that way for 20 years now. Morals now come from Government,Media and Corporations. Have Fun.

      Reply
  13. Great job Dal

    January 27, 2014

    http://www.smu.ca/about/news/2013/football-players-suspended-from-team-following-racist-sexist-tweets.html

    These young men for sure made a mistake, now their football dreams and possibly their education is now at risk because of this targeted article against SMU. The SMU football team has NOTHING, NOTHING to do with frosh week and that stupid horrible chant. I went to SMU for 6 years and did not even know it existed until it was recorded.

    These young men may lose the chance to play football at a CIS level, but most importantly have the chance to completely lose their education and hard work they have put in over a handful of very stupid tweets.

    How about we go through every single student-athlete twitter account across the nation.

    Could Halifax please stop trying to put SMU athletics at the top of the chant scandal?

    #firstworldproblems

    Reply
    • Anon

      January 27, 2014

      This sounds faintly like arguments made in Steubenville where everyone was feeling so badly for the ruined futures of the football players there that raped a girl. You seem to be on a slippery slope my friend…

      At least this event may wake these young men up to how they view the world, women and others. Maybe this experience will stop them from doing something more heinous in the future

      Reply
      • Great Job Dal

        January 27, 2014

        Are you seriously linking an actual rape to tweets? If so I find that pretty disturbing. Please show me the statistic that shows horrible tweets link to future horrible crimes. Maybe your parents paid for your education, if you even have one, but some people have to take loans out that reach to 10s of thousands of dollars. If that were to go to waste. Yes these people should be punished but what I am saying should we go through every student-athlete’s twitter and take away their education for it?

        Reply
        • Anon

          January 28, 2014

          These tweets are more damaging than you seem to realize as they contribute as well as echo rape culture. Rape culture that allows for the objectification of women, which is in fact directly related to sexual assault. With 1 in every 6 women being sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime I would say these tweets are concerning. And I would say that these young men are more at risk of offending then others that are not as subscribed to rape culture as they are. So yes, I’m hoping maybe this event helps them see the larger picture.

          Also, we live in a world where there are consequences for your actions. If SMU doesn’t want to have these men at tier school anymore, then that’s their decision. However that decision is yet to be made. But I commend SMU for sticking to the goals of the President’s Council report. At least they are trying their best to make change.

    • MacDonald

      January 27, 2014

      What education and hard work do you speak of? These individuals have yet to even achieve a liberal education. How can an institution such as a university associate itself with people who recklessly——and publicly, for that matter——orate such gratuitous and abominable behavior?

      Reply
      • Great Job Dal

        January 27, 2014

        What education? They attend Saint Mary’s University. If you claim SMU as no longer an educational institution because of these young men then you do not recognize EVERY university in the country. If you think this is a SMU problem then you are mistaken.

        Reply
        • Jimbo Flannigan

          January 27, 2014

          I don’t think MacDonald is bashing SMU as an institution.

          He’s saying that there must be an underlying reason why these men tweeted such hateful garbage.

          There are only a few reasons why they would spew this kind of language:

          (1) They are stupid, or

          (2) They did not pick up on the basic lesson taught in elementary school that you’re supposed to be nice to others (hence they’re uneducated), or

          (3) They are blinded by their own egos and ignorant of the effects of discrimination.

      • john

        January 27, 2014

        what most of you don’t seem to realize is the 3 of the individuals in this article do not play for the team, NEVER played a game this season except for one (who quit a quarter of the way through). 2nd these are 17-19yr olds who are being targeted at, everyone is blaming these players and NOT the heads of the university, who are there to teach and guide. Should they have not been taught about the repercussions of what they say on social media, and (if you want to associate the team with the FROSH week chant ) shouldn’t the university taken better steps to teach the student body? don’t just come at the young boys. It’s a bigger picture here folks

        Reply
        • Alex

          January 28, 2014

          Are you implying that because these men are between 17-19, they are somehow released from any wrongdoing? They’re not children. They may be immature but that doesn’t excuse them from their actions. They’ve been raised with social media, they understand its consequences. How long is everyone else supposed to pat them on the back and tell them “you’re just a kid, you didn’t know”?

    • TheSnail

      January 27, 2014

      All must conform, we are BORG

      Reply
    • Hashtags, really?

      January 27, 2014

      “The comments posted by these individuals are completely inappropriate and unacceptable,”

      Much like the chants from a few months ago.

      Nobody realizes what it means to represent a school like the St. Mary’s football team.

      For the sake of your rhetorical question, going through each student-athlete’s Twitter account is not a bad idea and anybody who represents a school, or any organization, should have specific screenings such as this.

      Please don’t try and make this seem like a public lynching. They deserve to be criticized for this.

      And for that matter, so do you for calling this a first world problem. Though you may think that hashtags make a statement into a punchline, they don’t. Your 6 years of university should have taught you that.

      Reply
      • Great Job Dal

        January 28, 2014

        Rob For smokes crack and talks like a Jamaican in a fast food restaurant and is still the mayor of Toronto. Young men lose thousands of dollars over years of school if they get kicked out over stupid retweets and horrible song lyrics. The main tweeter isn’t even a member of the school anymore stating “I didn’t know twitter can make you famous”. Please read the lyrics of Eminem’s recent album that our 13-14 year old youth listen to every day before their parents drop them off for school. Im not glorifying these tweets. I am simply saying does the punishment of potential expulsion match the crime? If so kick half of CIS student athletes out too.

        Reply
  14. Censor the names.

    January 27, 2014

    The writers of this article need to realize 2 things:

    1. If you want to be effective in spreading a message, don’t attack a group of teens and display their names for all to see. If your going to take the time to troll through hundreds of these kids’ tweets, then at least have the decency to sensor their names. They don’t deserve a public maiming for 140 characters.
    2. Try to gather a suitable sample size before attacking an entire spectrum of people. “Varsity male athletes” are not only male football players. But, if that is your angle, try and troll a couple more rosters. What this will do, is make your article the subject of a “discussion” instead of a “debate.” Discussions are much more effective in getting a message out there. When you attack a school, a specific (named) group of teenagers, and an entire half of the student athlete population, people are going to focus on arguing, not listening.

    Reply
  15. Anon

    January 27, 2014

    This is one of the stupidest articles I have EVER read. No I’m not pro rape nor anything close to that. It really bothers me when someone goes out of there way, to single out teenagers on things they say on twitter. Reading through this , it’s no different from anyone else on twitter ? Have any of you seen some of the things on there… You can’t tell me that other athletes innova scotia are saying similar things. Why single out a group of boys just to bring more heat to a uni? People like the ones that write articles like this are the reason things get blown out of the water. The same kind of people that eat half their meal at McDonald’s and take it back for a refund.

    Reply
  16. Anon

    January 27, 2014

    Why didn’t the authors have the courage to follow tweets of Dal’s athletes? Or tweets of their peers at King’s on varsity teams? Is it because they are so morally superior than SMU athletes? I highly doubt so. Whoever supervises this “newspaper” workshop should not teach their journalist students to go after every single scandal they can find but focus on issues as reflection of society. Football players are going to be punished, but the damage done by this article benefits nobody. Challenge for the authors: do out have the guts to expose bad stuff on your own campus? Do you?

    Reply
  17. Paul

    January 27, 2014

    “University president Colin Dodds has approved every recommendation of the report. It says the school should establish a code of conduct that will cover “standards for the use of media and Internet by all members of the university community.”

    These tweets are unacceptable and should not be defended nor condoned. That said, there should be cleaner standards that hold the entire university community to account. If you read this piece, you would think the SMU football team invented online vulgar behaviour, when in reality, it’s an epidemic running rampant all over social media and the Internet.

    Reply
  18. Maggie

    January 27, 2014

    this is blown way out of proportion. these are young men in todays society, tweeting the same things other young men tweet too. The tweets were not seriously offensive in anyway, and if you had any humor at all you would realize that. These boys are behaving exactly as normal, immature young adults do, and placing it on social media. it is not a large enough deal to cause a commotion over. these boys are just being so harshly penalized because they are on a football team, which isnt fair. youre making a team of young men feel like crap about tweets they did not mean in a malice way. search through any 15-25 year old’s tweets, and you’ll find stuff like this. get over it, it is NOT a big deal.

    Reply
  19. b

    January 28, 2014

    Athletes go through extensive training and put their heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears into representing their school through athletics. They put more time on the court, feild, ice, track, etc. than they put into school and the work that comes with it. Athletes are not the only people who represent smu, but they continuously get the spotlight when a social issue happens. With regards to the Frosh week chant, athletics had nothing to do with it, yet it is associated with this issue, which is not fair. Athletics are not the only people representing smu. Look at some of the professors’ tweets and we would be blown away by the inappropriate things being said via social media by our educators. Before we judge one department of our school we should look at the bigger picture here. If we looked at all the social media interactions and posts of all schools in Canada, smu would probably be on the lower level of a statistical chart. Was the activity wrong? Yes. Is it being blown out of proportion? Absolutely.

    Reply
  20. Shawn Seeley

    January 28, 2014

    I’m tired of hearing people bitch about, “Wahhhnnnn, why is everyone picking on SMU, wahhhhhhn, this is society… wahhhhnnnn… all schools are like this!”

    Yes. Quite true: this is a societal issue. The fact of that matter is plain and simple, however – you messed up hugely in public, got caught, and now there’s a media circus watching you. Scrutinizing you.

    You COULD complain about how hard it is to be a decent human being and how unfair it is that the media and its consumers expect better of you, now that they’re watching. You could act like it’s laborious to not to be a scumbag sexist, racist, homophobic pig. I mean, I can see how that’s difficult.

    … Or maybe you could respect other human beings. You could say, “Yes, we’ve messed up here. Not all of us, but some of us. People are watching, and it’s a profitable story… we accept that. So let’s prove them wrong, and use this attention to grow positive feelings for SMU in the community, and exemplify how we’re changing.”

    Reply
  21. Denise

    January 28, 2014

    As a SMU and Dalhousie alumni I am embarrassed for University of King’s College School of Journalism & Unews.ca for even letting this article if you can call it that to be printed. There could not be a better example of propaganda journalism presenting facts selectively to produce an emotional response. Because it was printed in unews.ca it has & will unfortunately be given weight. At no time are any of these subjects or topics to be taken lightly and it is deplorable that we still have to deal with these issues in today’s society. However to single out a single school’s varsity team for something that is carried out by all teenagers, schools, sports, sexes is scandalous and defamatory. While these journalism students have taken aim at the SMU football team for what ever reason and written their manipulative article they will never have to face any consequences. While Saint Mary’s and the varsity football team will have to deal with fallout for years. The article serves no purpose and as much as they mention several important topics they just repeat the misjustice as they act prejudicial towards a certain university and varsity sport.

    There are 75+ football players on a university roster and a few individuals have stated/tweeted stupid comments. As someone has said earlier there is a difference tweeting off hand distasteful jokes and believing in what you have written. This a huge social issue that crosses all ages, social groups etc. Not one single organization is at fault. Should these student athletes done this of course not. If you actually read all of them some of them are very offensive and just wrong! The rest are friendly banter between friends. When taken out of context a tweet can be offensive but if you go back and read them (which I did earlier today) a lot of them are teasing remarks towards each other. One comment is between a female and one of the players and goes back and forth for several tweets. The last tweet talks about “making a sandwich” The female “LOL” the tweet. I don’t see how this is offensive or anyone’s business. One tweet the player retweeted a joke his mother said…hardly offensive or wrong. Another individual makes a harmless joke about his brother?? Another individual retweeted “Bad Advice Dog” personally I think is a stupid and unfunny account but I was able to find it on 9 other student athlete accounts in 5 mins from basketball, volleyball, rugby players on MSU, Dalhousie & UKC.

    I am confident that SMU University, the Athletic department & football team while not perfect do a great job over all of being student athletes and giving back to the community. I am able & lucky enough to have had athletes from the team come & volunteer their time in the past at my work place and they were great. I know that no varsity sports team in Nova Scotia does as much volunteer or community work as the SMU football team. I would be curious what the King’s College teams have done this past year.

    The HC on a varsity team is a leader, a teacher, a fund raiser, a parent for kids away from home and unfortunately has to be a baby sitter as well. Most 17yr old kids coming out of high school are not mature enough to think through all their actions and it is easy for older more mature people to sit back pick apart people’s imperfections and actions. No one person can hold 75 hands and stand over this many individuals 24 hours a day. An ex-SMU player’s tweet was posted about him turning 19 and being excited to go down town to drink. Why is that an issue but when Lesley Doane of the University Kings College Blue Devils Basketball team tweets several times about going down town to drink and get drunk it isn’t?? She follows twitter accounts that promote & make jokes about racism & rape that is not an issue?

    In the King’s College School of Journalism Code of Ethics it states “To serve the full community it’s best to develop a perspective that is unbiased and fair-minded” It seems to me that Mr Lostracco, Mr Ward & Kenzie Colbourne should be a little more thorough & “Unbiased” in their “supermarket tabloid” reporting. As much as they are trying to give SMU a bad name they are creating a larger one for the University of King’s College School of Journalism

    “The only thing more frustrating than slanderers is those foolish enough to listen to them.”
    ― Criss Jami

    Reply
    • Robert

      January 28, 2014

      Shame on you apologist for racism, homophobia & and violence against women

      Shame

      Reply
  22. Lisa

    January 28, 2014

    This article is ridiculous. Notice how the majority of these tweets are retweets or song lyrics? Clearly not something the players wrote themselves. Also, when I read these tweets it is evident that they are JOKES and should not be taken seriously. In no way do I think these players are going to act on any of these tweets. People need to get over this and focus on REAL and SERIOUS issues. Focus on war, murder, drugs, or real life sexual assault not jokes a few jokes tweeted. Have you been on twitter lately? Do you read the stuff people say? Don’t take things so literally, it just makes you look like an idiot. Some people don’t question what they’ve read, some people should.

    Reply
  23. Letcher

    January 28, 2014

    “In researching this story UNews examined a variety of tweets from student athletes at Dalhousie, Acadia and SMU. No similar patterns were found.”

    Lol, I bet. Ridiculous.

    Reply
  24. Insane

    January 28, 2014

    Absolutely horrendous journalism. You’ll find more offensive material stepping out of your house and hanging out with ANY group of young people. If you can’t see the sarcasm in these tweets, I’m sorry but you’re a lost cause. There might be 2 or 3 that could even be deemed offensive, this entire article is grasping at straws.

    Seriously, go look through ANY university students twitter, don’t stop at athletes and pick any university, it won’t take long to find these same tweets.

    Reply
  25. Taccarra

    January 28, 2014

    When he says that he is not educated enough to talk about these issues with his players , he means he doesn’t want to be the “horrible coach” to his precious huskies, he’s too afraid to say any thing in hopes to remain being looked up to by his huskies. He’s just conforming to his group. As for those huskies, they are just a bunch of dirty dogs, just like their jersey suggest, and they give a bad name to Nova Scotians. I’m ashamed that after every thing history has taught us, they still decide to be ignorant dirty pigs. This is university these guys are in? Like really ? Kids should go sit the f *** back down in the play pen , or put their big boy pants on. Universities want to allow their students to give such a disgrassful name to their schools , then let them. Obviously these boys are completely uneducated and school hasn’t taught them any thing. And the university should honestly be shut down for condoning such disgraceful attitudes, this is university. Supposedly a high educated one, if you want to give a bad name to your school, then you shouldn’t be welcome there. Period.

    Reply
  26. J

    January 28, 2014

    This whole thing is a society problem not a SMU problem. People should be taught from a young age that these thoughts, sayings, and actions are not acceptable. It is occurring everywhere in the world and needs to be dealt with by everyone. The teaching should be engrained in the persons mind by the time they hit university since they have had 12 or 13 years of previous education. However, if the student is an athlete when doing this stuff they should be kicked off the team. If it wrecks their career in sports so be it. The same should occur for professional athletes. Athletes and singers are role models whether they want to be or not so they should not be promoting negative actions. When it comes to SMU football good people are on the team too, past and present. Years ago there was a QB who graduated as a Rhoads Scholar. There are good people and bad people in society wherever you go so everyone should be dealing with this. IT IS NOT JUST SMU, PEOPLE!

    Reply
  27. Unknown

    January 28, 2014

    I feel as though the majority of people responding to this are out of their 20′s. If you want to see how these “young men” really represent themselves, their school and their team, it’s not when their rallied and forced by coach to attend some community event, it’s on the weekends, the offseason, the parties, downtown, etc. It’s an embarrassment. I’m a past varsity football player, and had my share of fun while attending school and gaining a double degree in business and economics, but at the core, we all had respect for the things I mentioned above. And that is important for every organization. If SMU stands as a catalyst, so be it. Have respect for your organization and yourselves (This goes for the authors as well).

    Ps – There was in fact a sexual assault incident a couple of years ago. I know the players and the girl involved. It was a loud message throughout the AUS and certainly CIS. My Dino friends had been reached and aware. I still don’t believe SMU has done anything to dig themselves out of that hole (if only by having those same players continue to represent their team and the school). If I was the coach, they’d have been cut and replaced with individuals who are up for the responsibility, sacrifice, and challenge of being a successful varsity athlete and student. It spans far beyond yardage. I’m sure as most of you agree

    Reply
  28. L M

    January 28, 2014

    Football, a 51% average and a bachelors degree in being an idiot. That sums up SMU pretty good.

    Reply
  29. anon

    January 28, 2014

    It amazes at the the haters you have come out and bashed student journalist who have exposed some that is simply wrong. This is no justification because of age or sport or anything for what those young men wrote. It is homophobic, racists and sexist.

    People like Denise the supposed Dal and SMU alum should be ashamed of herself. But she won’t be because she doesn’t get that these tweets are wrong and speak to a larger problem

    Reply
  30. MMD

    January 28, 2014

    Is it just me or does anyone else find that fact that the people who were tweeted about are being pulled into this and receiving negative attention as well. One girl is called a whore and not only is her name there but click the link and it takes you right to her account. How does this help the girls they are making the comments about? I’m floored you didn’t have to censor out their names – why drag them into this? What does this achieve?? Please at least block out their names – they did nothing wrong here.

    Reply
  31. Cb

    January 28, 2014

    Everyone is so touchy now a days I’m a girl and I’m not offended by most of these since they’re JOKES. Ladies also joke about guys too. Get your panties out of a bunch!

    Reply
  32. Clark Howlett

    January 28, 2014

    Journalism at its WORST. I feel bad for the multiple students at SMU who are the first of their family to be taking a post secondary education. Alot of these athletes are on scholarships. Sad to see these kids education getting taken away from them by a few children with a chip on their shoulder. No one is perfect, as the authors of this article clearly show. I think its about time these “Journalists” pick a new profession.

    Reply
  33. John

    January 28, 2014

    Did these awesome journalists from Kings interview Acadia, Mount A, and X football teams? and students in general from these 3 other schools? Yes the posts are disturbing, but anyone can go on twitter feeds all over and see the same type of posts from boys and girls at this age. Do some better research kids versus taking a story that was done back in September. You guys are just as bad as the post themselves making it to be a SMU only problem. I’d questing hiring you after this piece of work, lazy journalism with only half the facts…..Again, this is not a SMU problem, your media bullying is making it one.

    Reply
    • Robert

      January 28, 2014

      Wow you condescending troglodyte the message we send is ignore this because they are not the only ones
      You are part of the problem

      The did check the tweets of the major varsity teams at schools in Nova Scotia and nothing similar turned up.

      So do you’re home work it is people like you that add to the problem

      Reply
    • Robert

      January 28, 2014

      Media bullying pointing out sexist, homophobic, racist tweets that also condone violence against women. Who are the bullies you Luddite? They checked the facts you simply criticize because you are part of the mind set who thinks this is ok

      Reply
      • M. MacDonald

        January 29, 2014

        No one said these tweets are ok. They are offensive. What is equally offensive are students trying to destroy the morale and reputation of students at another university. These Kings students wanted a slice of glory by humiliating a student body. Is it any surprise that journalists are held in disrepute by the public. These students at Kings are worse than their journalistic counterparts working for that slime ball Rupert Murdoch.

        Reply
  34. anonymous

    January 28, 2014

    Im still trying to figure out the point of this article… The authors are Dal students taking another shot at SMU, because SMU is an easy target. The writters don’t realize what they are doing publicly humiliating these students is actually a form of bullying in itself, and they are no better, actually they are worse, because their statements have a direct target, and those targets had to suffer some serious repercussions. What they found on the SMU football team they could find on any football team, but instead they went after the university which is already taking so much hate, and they decided it would be fun to make a bad situation worse. All these authors did was jump on the bandwagon of bashing a university which has already taken some serious hits, and not their own of course which is cause for bias and loss of all journalism credibility. When I read this article all I was reading was hate, and not from the tweets but by the authors of the article themselves, which actually had a target unlike the tweets, students at saint mary’s are now targets for bullying from the rest of the public. It is because of poor media coverage and journalism such as this that an entire population of a school is now generalized as rapists, and sexist men. Only a few of these tweets are questionable enough for this article most of which came from one student, and yes those few are bad. I don’t think any of these guys have ever committed sexual violence, but yet they are labeled as people who condone it now because of the context their tweets are displayed in. If you are so sensitive to something which you cannot either look away from, block the poster, flag it or walk away from the computer screen, then I really dont see how you could ever watch TV not censored for a toddler audience, or even leave your house for that matter. All these students have suffered serious repercussions, due to what they posted on twitter, as should the authors of this article, who bullied using serious slander and defamation of character.

    Reply
  35. M

    January 28, 2014

    I think this is absolutely blown out of proportion … Yes there tweets are definitely inappropriate but if this was just any university student no body would say a word. I see tweets and comments like this all the time from lots of different people not just “jocks”. Critizing them and making them should like such awful people definitely isn’t going to make you a better one or change the way people talk about each other. It’s all really sad in the end. I just don’t think this football team should be the ones made out to be the bad guys. We live in a very corrupt society,

    Reply
  36. TheSnail

    January 29, 2014

    Kings Journalism students should all apply and CNN & CBC since they adore that crap so called Journalism

    Reply
    • M. MacDonald

      January 29, 2014

      Try the National Enquirer

      Reply
  37. doons

    January 29, 2014

    This is probably the most blown out of proportion thing i have ever seen in my life and simply an attack on SMU’s football team or program. yes those tweets were vulgar not very beautiful to see but we dont even know the meaning of them. “Bitch get on your knees” was a joke between me and my punter in cegep at one point and we have still joked about it 5 years later, it wasint a real thing wed say to a girl. I dislike the whole rape chant thing but if you guys would be at every uni initiation , having been to a cegep and 2 university’s lets just say parents wouldint send their kids to any uni at all. Things are not always what they seem and i think most of these tweets may be the case. Now for the jock thing, every team has meat heads on them but every job place has one too so that is a myth. Jocks may be peceived as dumb any many of them are but to get a scholarship,well mine anyways, took an extreme amount of work.I feel bad for the tweet about the guy who says theres no women in his league. He just wanted to make the guys laugh, ive been there. This is the world we live in. Football players tend to be cocky but dr phil is too. Its how life is youcant connect a uni s football team to a rape chant and then say their racist sexiste or homophobes. We use the expression “homo” and “gay” too often and im not reffering to football players only . Im reffering to society. My brother made me realise it was wrong when he told me he was and it hurt him. But to pin this on a football team and saying they studied the other university tweets is complete bullshit. The tweets were wrong in many ways but if we check twitter on every CIS team even womens volleyball. I think wed be in for a surprise.

    Reply
  38. M. MacDonald

    January 29, 2014

    Is this what is considered investigative reporting at the University of Kings College these days? Seriously – going after the tweets of other students? You can call them racists or sexist pigs, but this is unethical journalism. Imagine – getting academic credit for digging up tweets by students. Get a life, no one at Saint Mary’s feels threatened in the least.

    Reply
  39. Stefanie

    February 7, 2014

    Hi So first of all I am not from dal or smu, I go to stfx, in fact i spent 4 years at stfx and only just finished last spring. I will start by saying I was very involved in school spirit and the social aspect of university and I am not some old person who doesn’t understand these “hip young kids”. I get it it’s easy to get pulled into joking about things like this, it’s just a joke and people are taking it too seriously. On the other hand I have experienced some of the effects of these attitudes first hand. I have personally heard a bunch of “smart university students” that otherwise were great guys laugh with some guy who was bragging about raping a girl that was too drunk the night before. She said stop and he said ” take it B****” and everyone laughed at this story. I’ve seen otherwise great guys personally admit to searching out the most drunk girl and then chugging a beer so they wouldn’t be considered a “sober assassin”. How cruel of dal to “attack” the sum football team when they are just representatives of the average guy. I used to work for the stfx volleyball team and I distinctly remember going to play at sum and drunk sum football players hollering out derogatory comments about our rookies right before they went up to serve. Maybe it’s wrong to point fingers and maybe dal is just as bad but in a world where 1 out of 5 women has been sexually abused is this really an issue of which school is worse or can we just realize that this is a university wide issue and confront it as such. Not just some but every university should be cracking down on their students for this. Most girls who have done a certain amount of partying at university have at least one episode where they were too drunk to give consent and in some cases even passed out and most guys still believe that it was their own fault for getting too drunk. This whole culture needs to change and I think strong role models of masculinity, such as university athletes, could make a change by speaking up when things rare getting out of control. I think it’s great that the school is doing all this training but I believe the real answer lies in respected students redefining what is “cool”.

    Reply
  40. Stefanie

    February 7, 2014

    P.S.: I don’t know why my spell check automatically put “sum” instead of “smu”

    Reply

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