On Wednesday afternoon, the Yale men’s basketball team released its first statement regarding the customized t-shirts worn before a Feb. 26 match against Harvard which displayed support for former captain Jack Montague. The shirts have since caused controversy on campus after multiple waves of posters featuring the team in the t-shirts were hung up calling the men’s basketball team to “Stop supporting a rapist.”
The statement, sent out after 5 p.m. by Tim Bennett, the associate director of Yale sports publicity, contained an apology for any inadvertent hurt the team’s public support caused.
In the email, the team reaffirmed its commitment to a “healthy, safe and respectful campus climate” for all students.
“Our recent actions to show our support for one of our former teammates were not intended to suggest otherwise, but we understand that to many students they did,” the statement read. “As student representatives of Yale we hope to use our positions on and off the court in a way that can make everyone proud.”
The team added that its members look forward to “learning and growing” from the incidents of the past weeks.
The statement came just two hours after United Against Sexual Assault at Yale, the Yale Black Women’s Coalition and the Yale Women’s Center hosted a “chalk-in” on Cross Campus.
Helen Price ’18, co-director of USAY, told the News on Tuesday that the chalk-in was meant to broaden the conversation, moving away from the specific incident with the basketball team to a larger discussion about Yale’s overall sexual climate. However, she said, the chalk-in was organized in response to the current conversations on campus regarding the team, as well as to provide an outlet for students to show their solidarity with survivors of sexual violence on campus.