All of us in the Department of Athletics & Recreation are deeply troubled by the racist incident that took place last weekend. No one at Wheaton College condones any behavior that is offensive or hurtful.
Within the mission of our athletic department, we work to hold all members of our athletic community to the highest standards of integrity, ethical behavior, and sportsmanship. Unfortunately, over the past weekend members of our women's soccer team fell short in our mission. In conversations with them over the past few days, I know they feel deep remorse, regret, and sorrow. They know that their actions are highly unacceptable and have hurt others. The women's soccer team has been wanting to personally address the campus and they are actively working with the community to find the right time and venue to appropriately do so.
It is clear that further competition this season would only contribute to an already divided and hurt community here on campus. Therefore, our decision to end the 2017 season was difficult but necessary.
As a community, and as an athletic department, we need to do better to continually educate our students and student-athletes about the world around them. In the coming weeks, I will work with our administration on how we can do this swiftly and appropriately for all of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff.
I know firsthand the pride that Wheaton College student-athletes take in representing our entire student body, faculty, staff, and alumni, by wearing Wheaton across their chests all over the country. We look forward to continuing education, having positive dialogue and pledge that we will work toward making sure our entire community, in turn, is proud to have us representing them to the outside world.
John Sutyak '00, Director of Athletics and Recreation