Fulmer apologizes for ‘inflammatory’ column

Please allow me to apologize for my inflammatory column on Tuesday (“Either go big, Bulldogs, or just go home”). I made exaggerations, generalizations and used stereotypes that were grossly inaccurate. It was wrong to employ them, and I apologize if they were interpreted as personal attacks. They were not meant to be. In no way do I want to belittle the achievements of our student-athletes, some of whom are All-Americans, some of whom are Olympians and all of whom work hard everyday, balancing schoolwork with practices. To make generalizations like “we can’t recruit anyone with any real talent” or that our sports teams are “mediocre” was foolish and inaccurate.

Also, to say student-athletes are not successful academically merely because they are recruited is simply a lie. Our athletes can be just as successful academically and professionally as non-athletes — in some cases more successful. I have friends who are athletes, whom I admire both as scholars and as human beings. I hope I can work to earn back their respect.

If I’ve learned one thing from the barrage of both hate mail and support letters that I’ve received or seen over the past two days, it’s that there definitely is, to some extent, a divide between athletes and non-athletes. My article has unfortunately served to exacerbate this tension with its tactless stereotyping of student-athletes, and I hope I have clarified above that I do not harbor these stereotypes. I’ve received e-mails that have ranged from a vitriolic outlash at a “normie” such as myself to an “I completely agree with you.” A gap widened by mutual disdain and prejudice certainly exists, and it is fueled by negative stereotypes. Something needs to be done about it.

Now, in my editorial, I concluded that, since narrowing the scope of our athletics or “going home” is not an option, this gap is intractable. Perhaps I made this hasty conclusion so that I could make the devil’s advocate argument that we should “go big” and expand our sports programs — incidentally, this plan is probably equally unviable. In reality, the sorts of prejudices that I expressed in my article are at the heart of the divide. Rather than give up on the rift, as I did, we should actively work to heal it. We should constantly work to overcome our prejudices and accept each other into our social circles, for each of us has something unique, interesting and wonderful to offer. That’s why we’re here. We’re all Yalies. Let’s make Yale the accepting place we all know it can be.

Ned Fulmer is a junior in Pierson College.


  • Jock McEli

    Ned, you better send a thank-you note to Aliza for getting you off the hook!

  • Anonymous

    To #1 Great post!

    Now that, ladies and gentlemen is wit! Good old fashioned Yale dining hall style wit.

  • Athlete

    Yea your forgiven. Bigger fish to fry…unless the whole abortion story was Ned's idea to take the attention off of himself.

  • Anonymous

    If it was all "simply a lie" and "exaggerations," then why did you say it?
    I'm still waiting for a nice long editorial about what athletes and athletics bring to a school.

  • anonymous

    well done, Ned!!

  • Anonymous

    You're the one who is fueling the negative stereotypes. You want Yale to be united? Than go out and support athletes the same way they go and support their a capella friends or their roommates who do danceworks! Stop calling them out on stuff that you're probably guilty of yourself. Your apology (or lack their of) was about as well written as your first piece.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with post #6. Well said.

  • Sam Fox

    Ned, You remain, in the eyes of hundreds, a liar (on both poles of this issue) and a coward. Though your apology was the next logical step in what i hope is an unsuccessful return to a normal life on this campus, that does not mean that anyone should forgive you. Especially considering it was written using language that was so disingenuous and pandering.

    At some point I would love to sit down with you and compare our respective worth in the eyes of this university. You know where to find me.

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm, last I saw, particularily on this one issue, "the university" is not of a single mind. Fulmer is a coward and arguably a "troll" (altogther too inarticulate to be called sophist), but at least I've heard of Ned Fulmer and the debate his writing spawned -- who the F is Sam Fox?

  • Yale athletics alum 04

    Sam Fox:

    Are you still that bitter about Ned's column? Please. You may disagree with Ned, and you may be right to feel offended, but this isn't such a big deal as to keep holding a grudge. He made a mistake, and he fessed up to it. I doubt you're perfect, either, and I bet you've offended some people too. Just because Ned made a mistake doesn't mean you should wish that he has a bad experience at Yale in the future. To do so undermines this whole conversation. As a former Yale Bulldog, I disagreed with Ned, too, but forgiveness, not continuing spite, is what we need. You'll be a lot happier as a person if you learn to forgive.

  • dogmom (aka #20 from "Get a clue….&quot

    Good job Ned. It's extremely refreshing and encouraging to see someone, especially at Yale, with the courage to publicly admit they made a mistake. One could only hope the administration would ever demonstrate any shred of humility.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with Sam Fox.

  • H-money

    To #4:

    I think the rhetoric behind what athletics bring to a school is irrelevant to this issue. The question is whether athletes screw around more or less than the average Yalie.