UCLA athlete dismissed from team after racist comments, outcry among students

UCLA athlete Chris Weiland was dismissed Monday from the cross country and track & field team after video of him making racist, sexist and homophobic comments surfaced across social media platforms Sunday.

Weiland, a Rancho Cucamonga High graduate, was heard talking to his mother on the phone during the video while making the remarks.

“When first learning of this a few months ago, I was disgusted and immediately suspended him indefinitely from the team,” said Avery Anderson, UCLA’s Director of Track and Field and Cross Country, in a statement. “Even in my disgust, as a coach, my intentions are always to lead and educate and make the change happen that I want to see in this world.

“I can talk about changing the world, or I can put in the work to do so. And that is what I have done over the last few months with this individual.”

Anderson made the decision to reinstate the redshirt junior back into the program in January before “team members and the athletic community” expressed their concern.

UCLA’s Black Student-Athletes Alliance issued a statement Monday on Instagram asking for Weiland’s removal for the team.

“As a university that champions itself on the accomplishments of its Black athletes that have broken the barriers of social justice, we find it deeply disturbing to learn that UCLA knew about an incident of blatant racism, homophobia and sexism and did very minimal actions about it. The racist actions that took place by a member of the cross country team, are unacceptable and disrespectful, and we at BSAA refuse to accept the actions of that athlete, as well as the lack of action to address the issue by the coaches, staff and administration. We do not feel safe with this person on campus, and we demand UCLA athletics take action immediately and remove this student from the team.”

Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, gymnast Margzetta Frazier and women’s basketball player Michaela Onyenwere were among the current UCLA athletes with verified Instagram accounts who commented “@uclaathletics” on BSAA’s post to bring attention to the university’s athletic department. Related Articles

“It became clear that his continued involvement with the team is incompatible with the culture of mutual support and respect we’re fostering,” Anderson said in the statement. “I now realize that the decision to reinstate him was not the right decision, and that the action today is best for the well-being of our team.”

Weiland’s name and biography were removed from the university’s athletic website.

His photographs, including one in a UCLA jersey with a Black Lives Matter patch, was deleted from the cross country team’s Instagram.

Weiland competed for Bruins in the Dave Murray Invitational on Feb. 19 in Tucson.

.@UCLATrack_Field's Avery Anderson has a passion to help.
He shows it in the way he makes every athlete feel like family.

That's what motivated the former Bruin to publicize a letter last week asking his team to remain positive during such unrest.https://t.co/uLFJ3Ohj0W

— Maggie Vanoni (@maggie_vanoni) June 11, 2020

Tags: Instagram, Oregon, Sports, Sport, Soccer, Cross Country, College sports, Anderson, Ucla, Bruins, Tucson, Naomi Osaka, Weiland, Jennifer Brady, Dorian Thompson Robinson, Michaela Onyenwere, Utah UCLA, Matt McLain, Margzetta Frazier, Maggie Vanoni, Avery Anderson, Rancho Cucamonga High, Chris Weiland, Black Student Athletes Alliance, BSAA, Instagram Weiland

Source:  https://www.dailynews.com/2021/02/22/ucla-athlete-dismissed-from-team-after-racist-comments-outcry-among-students/

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