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.