According to The Associated Press, the Talladega College women’s volleyball team withdrew from the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) tournament in Alabama after a team member received a ”racially motivated picture” during the awards banquet last week in Montgomery, Alabama. SSAC officials described the act as “vile and vicious.”
“It’s just a very unfortunate thing. We wish it hadn’t happened,” Commissioner Mike Hall said in an interview Wednesday.
The image was sent using a feature that allows nearby cellphones to transfer data. Talladega College issued a statement in support of its students.
Talladega College has a history of standing up for what is right and just. Our founding is predicated on the principles of freedom, equity, and inclusion.
The Talladega College women’s volleyball team walked out of the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) Banquet in protest due to what the institution believes to be a lack of action taken around racial abuse. Our student-athletes were recipients of cyber racial abuse. The volleyball team’s decision to walk out of the banquet, and ultimately walk away from participating in the remaining tournament, is an extension of the history of which they are a part.
We support our volleyball team’s decision to stand up against racial abuse. President Gregory J. Vincent spoke with the team and expressed his concerns for their mental and personal safety. “The institution is protecting our student-athletes. We educate the whole student here at Talladega College. Our student-athletes’ psychological and mental health are essential to academic development. Collegiate athletic participation is a co-curricular experience that is also important in the transformational learning experience of our students. These types of occurrences are unacceptable. We are entrusted by families, the Board of Trustees, and the State of Alabama to protect you as students of the institution.”
We commend the women’s volleyball team. We celebrate them for their bravery. We honor them for their commitment to the founding principles of Talladega College as well as the tenants of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Talladega College is a private HBCU in Talladega, Alabama. It is Alabama’s oldest private historically black college. It is one of two HBCUs (Stillman College) in the 11-member SSAC.
Six of the remaining nine member colleges claim to be some version of a Christian (Baptist, Jesuit) college.
This incident sure doesn’t seem very “Christian-like.”
The SSAC is still investigating the incident and thus far have not revealed the nature of the image, but did release a statement.
“The SSAC will not condone this type of behavior. We are very supportive of all of our student-athletes, coaches and staff from our 11 institutions. We sincerely regret that this occurrence happened.”
In the digital world investigations aren’t too difficult. Everything you send and do leaves a digital footprint. There is a record of it somewhere no matter what you do on your actual phone. If the SSAC wants to really know what went down, it won’t be too difficult.
The question is do they want to uncover what went down? Do they want to do a full autopsy on the practices within the SSAC? They might not like what they uncover.