Previous NU players information racist treatment in 2000s
CHICAGO– 2 more previous Northwestern University football players stepped forward Friday stating they experienced racist treatment during their time on the group in the early 2000s.
Noah Herron and Rico Lamitte stated Black players were pressured to conform to white standards and faced unfair penalties. They spoke at a news conference hosted by Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, a Chicago law firm representing more than 50 previous Northwestern athletes. Attorney Patrick Salvi said Herron and Lamitte are not plaintiffs in any claims “since right now.”
Herron, a star running back at Northwestern from 2000 to 2004 who played in the NFL, said Black players with braids and longer hair were informed to cut it even though white players were allowed to use their hair long.
“Northwestern not only cured players of color in a different way than our white colleagues, however they attempted to conform us in our appearance to look like white colleagues– or what Northwestern would consider ‘the Wildcat Way,'” Herron stated. “Northwestern hired me as a football player, but declined to see me and accept me as a guy– a Black male who was and is proud of my race and culture.”
Lamitte, who played under the name Rico Tarver from 2001 to 2005, stated he and other Black players were informed by the football staff that they needed to alter the method they acted and dressed. He remembered being a couple of feet from Rashidi Wheeler when he passed away throughout practice in 2001 and said the group wasn’t given the chance it needed to recover.
“That set the tone for what I would experience over the next 4 1/2 years of my life,” he said. “I was threatened and forced to conform to the ‘Wildcat Way,’ a harmful environment that had no space or tolerance for me as a Black male.”
The head coach when Herron and Lamitte played was Randy Walker. Pat Fitzgerald, an assistant at the time, took control of in 2006 following Walker’s death and led the Wildcats for 17 seasons.He was fired
in July, a couple of days after at first being suspended following an investigation by lawyer Maggie Hickey of law firm ArentFox Schiff. That probe did not find “sufficient” proof that the coaching staff learnt about ongoing hazing however concluded there were “significant opportunities” to learn about it. Fitzgerald is suing the school for $130 million, stating his university wrongfully fired him.Northwestern is facing
more than a lots claims across numerous sports with accusations consisting of sexual abuse of players by colleagues, in addition to racist remarks by coaches and race-based assaults. Northwestern hired previous U.S. Chief law officer Loretta Lynch 3 months ago to lead an investigation into the culture of its athletic department and its anti-hazing treatments.” Hazing has no place at Northwestern, “the school stated Friday.
“Any claims of racially inspired hazing are not only troubling but completely antithetical to our academic and athletics objective. We are and will constantly be devoted to diversity, and we investigate any specific hazing claims we get to verify that every Northwestern trainee feels safe and included.”