Oregon State University has dismissed Tight End Rocco Carley from the school’s football team after a video surfaced late Wednesday night which depicts Carley making homophobic, racist and Islamophobic statements.
In the video, Carley can be heard saying “kill the gays,” in what, according to Carley, was meant to be a “very satire example” of a “Southern man” voice.
He goes on to say similarly abhorrent remarks about Black people and Muslims.
Oregon State head football coach Jonathan Smith contacted Oregon State Athletic Director Scott Barnes soon after the video was brought to his attention. The decision was swiftly made to dismiss Carley. “We both agreed this language and attitude is entirely unacceptable, regardless of circumstance or environment,” said Smith in a statement via Twitter. “I will not tolerate racism or hate speech.”
Barnes also released a statement via Twitter calling Carley’s dismissal a “necessary and appropriate action,” stating that “racism of any kind is unacceptable on the Oregon State campus and within our athletic department.”
Out Oregon State football alum, former NFL player and LGBTQ advocate Esera Tuaolo also expressed outrage upon learning of Carley’s statements.
“During these times, there is so much hate that’s going out there and so many people with all the protesting, rioting, and murders, I was surprised that someone would come out with a video like that. Especially at Oregon State where I went to school,” Tuaolo told Outsports. “The things that he said were very scarring. Not just not just to the LGBTQ community and African community but also for the Muslim community.”
Tuaolo told Outsports that he plans to reach out to Oregon State to see if he can help in any way. Tuaolo heads the nonprofit organization Hate Is Wrong, which focuses on “fostering diversity in sports and anti-bullying among youth.”
“In order for us to heal as a nation, we need to eliminate stuff like this. We need to bring awareness to situations like this,” Tuaolo added.
Carley released an apology via Twitter following his dismissal, claiming that “the video was taken three years ago in a groupchat where me and my friends were saying stupid things” and that the video didn’t “represent” him.
Share your thoughts on Carley’s video, his apology and his dismissal in the comments below.