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Amherst College Suspends Men's Cross-Country Team Over Misogynistic Emails

Team members described women as a "walking STD" and "meat slabs," while one teammate asked, "do asians really have horizontal vaginas?”

Posted on December 12, 2016, at 3:08 p.m. ET

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Amherst College in Massachusetts suspended its men’s cross-country team over “racist, misogynist, and homophobic” emails and social media exchanges between its members, the college said Sunday.

The team’s activities were suspended immediately pending an investigation into the emails and messages, which were reported by the student magazine, The Indicator.

One 2015 team-wide email sent by a current junior member of the cross-country team to first-year recruits included a list of women with their photos and their supposed sexual proclivities, The Indicator reported.

In the email chain, one member referred to a woman as “a walking STD” and another as a “meat slab.” He described a third woman as “stuck up, snobby, bitch; AKA the perfect formal date for the desperate members of our team.”

After another team member responded to the list saying, “That was one of the most fucked up things ive read in a while,” the junior member who sent the list apologized on the email chain, The Indicator reported.

The athletic director informed President Biddy Martin that members of the team had confirmed the nature of the messages, which had been occurring for several years, Martin said in a statement Sunday.

“The messages are appalling,” Martin said. “They are not only vulgar, they are cruel and hateful. No attempt to rationalize them will change that.”

The athletic director, Don Faulstick, called the team’s behavior “disgusting.”

“The exchanges and the behavior described in the article — which team members acknowledge — are disgusting,” Faulstick said in a statement. “They have no place on our sports teams or anywhere at our College. They violate the ‘zero-tolerance’ standard toward bigotry of any kind that we explicitly set for our athletes.”

The men’s cross-country team issued an apology Monday, saying they were “embarrassed and ashamed” by some of their members’ behavior.

“We, the members of the Amherst Men’s Cross Country Team, sincerely and deeply apologize to the entire Amherst community for the pain caused by our recently published remarks,” the team said in a statement. “There are no words to justify what was said and we are all responsible for the harm inflicted by our team’s comments. We are embarrassed and ashamed by what was said by some members of our team.”

Instagram: @amherstxctf

In another email exchange in June 2014, one Amherst men's cross country team member wrote, "You know the girls at your high school who aren’t that attractive or personable, so no one talks to them? Picture a college with ~900 of them and you have our lovely liberal arts institution."

In the same month that year, one teammate asked another, "do asians really have horizontal vaginas?" The Indicator reported.

In June 2015, one team member emailed a picture of himself lying down between two women, writing, "Here you’ll see me with my main bitch ***** and my side hoe *****. Also notice the bump where my penis should be. That’s my penis. The upperclassmen know not to fuck around with these two lovelies, but freshman be warned: touch either of my meat slabs and I will fucking end you. Especially *****. God knows the little one can’t protect herself.”

A then-incoming recruit sent another email saying, “If Rachel Dolezal can be president of an NAACP chapter, I can be a sophomore. […] If the Amherst football team ever plays the Redskins (not sure how that might happen, but a worthy hypothetical), the politically correct faction of campus might burn the college to the ground."

In early November, Harvard University canceled the men's soccer season over a sexist "scouting report" that ranked the women’s team recruits on their perceived physical attributes and sexual appeal. Later that month, Columbia University also stopped its men's wrestling team from competing over racist and sexist text messages including the n-word and jokes about sexual assault.

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