Former Northwestern Football Player Alleging Racial And Sexual Hazing Sues The Program

Former Northwestern University reserve offensive lineman Ramon Diaz says he was racially and sexually hazed while a football team member in the mid-2000s, he is claiming in a new lasuit.

In one racial incident, he says his coaches frequently referenced his Mexican heritage and forced him to shave “05/05,” a reference to Cinco de Mayo, into his head while his teammates watched.

Additionally, he suffered a hazing incident known as the “car wash,” where he walked naked into the showers through a line of teammates, he claims

Based on his mental trauma, he contemplated suicide and is now suing the school. Northwestern has hired former US Attorney General Loretta Lynch to review the culture of the school’s athletic department.

Bad Culture

“There is a culture that has been condoned by the athletic department and university that has allowed these coaches to behave the way they do,” Diaz told ESPN.

“I believe focus should be shifted toward the athletic department specifically, but Northwestern at large. The atmosphere will not change systematically if that does not happen.”

Two former assistants, former offensive line coach Bret Ingalls and James Patton, made “racist, embarrassing, degrading, and harassing remarks” toward Diaz and more during his time on the team from 2005-2008, the Illinois native claims. Also, the lawsuit alleges that Northwestern’s tight ends coach, Adam Cushing, should have been aware of the hazing and mistreatment and “took no action to address and/or prevent” it from happening.

Change Is Coming

“We will review any specific allegation involving current coaches or players and will take the appropriate disciplinary actions based on the facts,” Northwestern said in a statement to ESPN.

“We are committed to do whatever is necessary to address hazing-related issues and ensure that our athletic program remains one that our entire community can be proud of and one that is fully aligned with and reflects our values.”

The list of former student-athletes filing lawsuits against Northwestern for allegations involving the athletics department is growing. Former Northwestern running back Warren Miles Long, who played from 2013-2018, and a former player named John Doe 2, who played from 2015-2019, filed lawsuits on Friday.

“With each filing, we have a clearer picture of the routine abuse that occurred in Northwestern’s football program and continues to haunt these young men,” said civil rights attorney Ben Crump in a statement.

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