MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS, Manhattan — Columbia University has launched an investigation into the men’s wrestling team, after a series of racially charged and sexist texts were leaked.
The messages were allegedly exchanged among varsity wrestlers on a private texting app called GroupMe.
Screenshots of the group chat were published by the independent, student-run news website Bwog.
The messages take aim at women, minorities, and members of the LGBTQ community. They contain degrading remarks and racial slurs, including an abbreviation of the N-word.
Students are stunned and sickened by the allegations.
“Absolutely disgusting, not the values Columbia University stands for,” said Columbia grad student Nadeem Shad.
The messages date back to 2014, and some were sent as recently as this week.
“Definitely shocking that there’s a culture that’s been able to do this kind of thing behind closed doors,” Cory Gibson, a Columbia sophomore, said.
A Columbia undergrad, who did not give her name, said: “Especially with the recent election, it’s important to remind everyone how important it is to treat women with respect .”
The Ivy League school cancelled the wrestling team’s season opening match against Binghamton, which was scheduled for Sunday.
Columbia released a statement, which reads in part: “Columbia University has zero tolerance in its athletics programs for the group messaging and texts sent by several members of the men’s varsity wrestling team. They are appalling, at odds with the core values of the University, violate team guidelines, and have no place in our community.”