The members of the Ole Miss football team were required to watch a theatrical play designed to increase tolerance of the gay community.
“The Laramie Project” showcases the short life and painful death of Matthew Sheppard who was brutally murdered while attending the University of Wyoming. He was an openly gay young man found one night horrifically beaten and hanging on a fence. Mississippi College Football Players Yell Gay Slurs During Play TEACHING TOLERANCE!
The play also showcases the need for hate crime laws in all states. Mississippi still doesn’t have such legislation.
The Ole Miss football players disrupted the performance by shouting out gay slurs and using terms like “faggot.” They also made disparaging remarks about performers’ body types.
Other students in the audience were creating a disturbance as well, but it is reported that the athletes are the ones who instigated the disruptions.
One cast member is especially concerned about how the performance was not respected.
“I am the only gay person on the cast,” junior theater major Garrison Gibbons said. “I played a gay character in the show, and to be ridiculed like that was something that really made me realize that some people at Ole Miss and in Mississippi still can’t accept me for who I am.”
The situation is “under investigation” by school officials. The team was forced to write a letter of apology.