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Vanderbilt AD condemns 'unacceptable' racist slurs directed toward parents at College World Series

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Vanderbilt athletic director Candice Storey Lee condemned on Tuesday racist slurs she says were directed at parents of Commodores players at the College World Series.

Lee wrote on Twitter that the slurs were used during Vanderbilt's Game 1 win over Mississippi State in Omaha, Nebraska, on Monday night. 

"I am deeply troubled that some of our student-athlete parents were subjected to racist slurs during last night's game," Lee wrote. This is absolutely unacceptable and disgraceful behavior, and such hateful language has no place anywhere in our society."

Lee offered her "full support" to parents who were subjected to hateful language. 

What was said and who said it were not immediately clear. TD Ameritrade Park communications director Kristyna Engdahl confirmed to the Associated Press that stadium officials were aware of a conflict involving racist slurs on Monday.

“We absolutely denounce this behavior and are saddened to learn that it took place in TD Ameritrade Park Omaha,” Engdahl told AP. “Tonight, we will take additional security measures to ensure that everyone may feel safe in our stadium.”

The incident remains under investigation by stadium officials, per Engdahl.

Grounds crew members remove the tarp on the infield before Game 2 of the NCAA College World Series baseball finals between Mississippi State and Vanderbilt, Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/John Peterson)
Stadium officials confirmed that slurs were used in the stands during Game 1 on Monday. (AP Photo/John Peterson)

Mississippi State responds

Mississippi State athletic director John Cohen echoed Lee's sentiments in a tweet responding to hers Tuesday afternoon.

"We join Vanderbilt in declaring such behavior unacceptable and in direct conflict with the values of both institutions and our fan bases," Cohen wrote. "The College World Series serves as a celebration of the entire sport of college baseball. 

"Highly inappropriate events must neither be tolerated nor allowed to detract from the on-the-field accomplishments of the student-athletes and their teams who have earned the right to participate on this national stage."

The NCAA responded and vowed to remove anyone using racist language at games from the stands.

“Any parties responsible for unacceptable actions during the games will be removed by stadium security,” an NCAA statement reads. 

The College World Series is a best-of-three series to crown the NCAA baseball champion. Vanderbilt won Game 1, 8-2. Game 2 is scheduled for Tuesday night with Game 3 slated to take place on Wednesday, if necessary. SEC rivals, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State played each other three times during the regular season.

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