Brief: Zeta pledge: I did not read ‘Sluts’ sign

The Zeta Psi pledge who was shown holding a derogatory sign in front of the Yale Women’s Center in a photograph that surfaced last weekend has spoken publicly for the first time — and says he did not even read the sign before he held it up.

In a televised interview Wednesday night with WTIC-TV, the Hartford Fox affiliate, Giovanni Christodoulou ’11 said the Zeta pledges were participating in a scavenger hunt when they posed in front of the Women’s Center with a sign that read “We Love Yale Sluts.”

“I never even read the sign,” Christodoulou, a wide receiver and defensive back for the Yale football team, said in the interview. “They gave me the sign, and I held it up.”

A photograph of the 12 pledges was posted on Facebook and quickly made the rounds via e-mail Sunday night. Members of the Women’s Center board quickly threatened to sue the fraternity, the University and the pledges, possibly for sexual harassment or defamation.

Zeta President Jonathan Charest ’10 apologized to the Women’s Center for the photograph in a letter published in the News on Tuesday, but he and other members of the fraternity, as well as the pledges in the picture, have declined requests to be interviewed or quoted by name regarding the incident.

In the television interview, Christodoulou apologized for the photograph.

“I never disrespect women — that was very uncharacteristic of myself,” he said. “We’re all terribly sorry, and we learned our lesson.”

The television channel also reported Wednesday that members of the Women Center’s board are scheduled to meet with Yale administrators regarding the incident on Thursday. The report could not be confirmed early Thursday morning.

Christodoulou’s appearance on Fox on Wednesday was not his first moment in the spotlight this school year. In Harvard’s 37-6 rout of Yale in The Game in November, Christodoulou was the lone bright spot for the Bulldogs, returning a punt 87 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Comments

  • Anonymous

    And I never inhaled, either!

  • Anonymous

    wow…even Yale football players can be reduced to emasculated lumps of mush. If you did it, take responsibility as it being a form of protest against the tyranny and irrationality of the Womyn's Center. Boldly proclaim that their obsessive compulsive behavior which has been condoned as legitimate political action needed to be poked a bit. Say boldly that it was satire (which always has a bit of distasteful overtones) which nonetheless reveals some truth, just as the Sphincter Troupe used vulgar generalizations about your fraternity in a public forum. Say you'd do it again. In other words, be a man.

  • Anonymous

    Look: Larry Summers caved (and coughed up $50 mil); you think some Yale frosh pledge has more chutzpah???

  • Anonymous

    In summation: Student unknowingly holds up derogatory, offensive sign. But don't worry, he is really good at sports.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Christodoulou is to be congratulated on having formulated an excuse for bad behavior that is so breathtakingly lame that it can only be described as "Clintonian."

  • Anonymous

    Forgive the poor boy, for goodness' sake. After all, he can't read and he plays amazing football!

  • Anonymous

    Also, thanks to the YDN for ending this article not with real information or comments about the repercussions of these sexist acts, but with an admiring account of his (surely deserved) athletic prowess. If he had been a great musician, or done a lot of tutoring in his time at Yale, would it have been mentioned in the same way?

  • Alum (not an athlete)

    "If he had been a great musician, or done a lot of tutoring in his time at Yale, would it have been mentioned in the same way?"

    Sure it would. Though I wouldn't say that "doing a lot of tutoring" is as impressive as being a talented athlete, musician, journalist, etc.

  • Anonymous

    Zzzzzzz….

  • Anonymous

    I bet that he thought that the sign said, "We love the Yale Women's Center and the support that they give to female students."

    Ha.

    But at least he's a REALLY good football player.