Illinois St. examining claim fan utilized racial slur

  • Myron Medcalf, ESPN Staff WriterDec 10, 2023, 05:40 PM ET


    • Covers college basketball
    • Joined in 2011
    • Graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato

Illinois State is investigating claims that a person or more of its fans utilized a racial slur versus a Norfolk State player in the latter’s 64-58 win over the Redbirds on Saturday, per a declaration released Sunday.

“The guys’s basketball game on Saturday in between Illinois State and Norfolk State was sadly spoiled by the report of a racial slur directed at a Norfolk State player by an Illinois State fan,” ISU’s statement checked out. “Using racial slurs and other offensive language targeting individuals for their identity is abhorrent and is not endured by Illinois State University. Among Illinois State’s core worths are regard for others, variety, and addition.

“Illinois State has actually moved swiftly to examine the report and will react properly. Illinois State University and Redbird Sports extend sincere apologies to Norfolk State University, its student-athletes, and its athletics staff for the deep upset triggered, and university leaders have personally connected to associates at Norfolk State.”

After Saturday’s game, Norfolk State coach Robert Jones tweeted that one of his players had been called a slur by Illinois State fans during the game, which was the Spartans’ 3rd successive triumph after previous wins over William & Mary and VCU.

“I’m not letting anybody call my players a racial slur,” Jones said in his tweet. “Those are my kids and I will fight for them. We have actually come too far in society to be called the N word at [a] college basketball game.”

Per a video of the aftermath of the alleged verbal attack, Jones walked onto the court before he was come by his players with his team ahead 46-40 in the second half. The broadcast crew said Norfolk State’s Jamarii Thomas had an interaction with fans during a dead ball situation.I’m not letting anybody call my players a racial slur. Those are my kids and I will defend them. We have come too far in society to be called the N word at college basketball game.!.?.!— Robert Jones (@NSUCoachJones)December 10, 2023 As Jones returned to the sideline, Illinois State coach Ryan Pedon faced him. Both coaches were released technical fouls and fans were ejected from the arena.It’s uncertain why Pedon faced Jones in the aggressive manner he did after the Norfolk State coach stated he was resolving racially offensive language utilized versus his group, but after

the game the Illinois State coach had no regrets. “I was upset [Jones] was on the floor and I was raising hell with the referees,”Pedon told reporters.”It was never ever individual towards him. I’ll take the high roadway on that.

I’ll take the high roadway. However I’m a rival, man. I’m Italian, so often my feelings can get the very best of me at times. Yeah, I do not apologize for my one-upmanship. That’s how I want our teams to play.” Illinois State’s declaration did not acknowledge Pedon’s habits during the game.

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