Dec 10, 2009, 10:00 AM EDT
I hope you’re sitting down for this, because the venerable sport of Ivy League squash has been propelled into a state of turmoil and bitter recrimination, and I’m not going to sugarcoat the details. Dartmouth president Jim Yong Kim has apologized to Harvard University for the behavior of some students on Saturday, after the Harvard squash team was mercilessly heckled during a conference match on the Dartmouth campus. From the Boston Globe:
For at least 90 minutes, about a dozen Dartmouth students pelted Harvard’s men and women players with obscenity-laced insults that some witnesses described as misogynistic, homophobic, and anti-Semitic. Women on the Harvard team were called “whores” and “sluts,” witnesses said; the men were taunted with crude comments about their masculinity.
More shocking details from the campus newspaper, The Dartmouth:
During his match, Crimson captain Franklin Cohen was told he had small genitals and asked if he liked “bagels” — a term his mother told the Valley News she viewed as an insult related to the family’s Jewish last name. Bryan Giudicelli ’11 told the Valley News that the term “bagel” was a reference to zeros on the scoreboard.
Cohen’s mother, Susan, said in an interview with The Dartmouth on Wednesday that she was unaware of that meaning of the term “bagel” and found its use inappropriate.
Giudicelli is captain of the soccer team and, as it turns out, from my home town (Redwood City, CA). I cannot stress enough how proud I am at this moment. More on the incident from the Valley News:
After Lewis defeated Cohen, a group of Dartmouth fans including Giudicelli occupied the front rows of the main court bleachers while the Big Green’s Nicholas Sisodia challenged Harvard’s Richard Hill. While amusing chants were shouted at Hill, the Singapore native was also subjected by Giudicelli’s group to some of the same obscenities that had been lobbed at Cohen. In addition, a young man seated near the soccer group raised his shirt and asked nearby Harvard women’s players if they wanted “a piece of this.”
Of course members of the Cameron Crazies are quite unimpressed with all of this, but from what I understand, squash etiquette is quite different from that of college basketball. The behavior if the Dartmouth fans — all members of the men’s soccer team, from what I gather — was tantamount to invading Wimbledon and heckling Pete Sampras as he’s trying to serve.
Jong Kim has said he’s going to use the incident as “a teachable moment,” although I don’t know how often vicious squash heckling actually occurs. Must be an east coast thing.
Of course if Keggy the Keg was involved, then I heartily approve. Case dismissed.
Kim apologizes to Faust following squash heckling incident [The Dartmouth]
Dartmouth Students Slur Harvard Athletes During Squash Match [Valley News]
Dartmouth heckling prompts soul search [Boston Globe]
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