In response to Tuesday’s “Message from the Chancellor” e-mail to the Carolina Community, I wonder if Quinton Coples and the UNC football coaching staff received Holden Thorp’s message.
Coples, or @QueCoples, seems savvy enough with social media to appreciate Chancellor Thorp when he encouraged the Carolina Community — which I assume to include the football team — with these words: “The expanding universe of social media offers ways to come together as never before, but it also comes with new responsibilities. Please think about the impact of the choices you make when you share information about yourself and others.” Yet Coples used Twitter on Thursday to say “a dude that looks gay just sat by one of my teammates i think he knows we laughing at him smh #stopthegayness.”
In reaction to Coples’ inappropriate tweet, the coaching staff has prohibited the use of Twitter for the entire team. I wonder if this meets the standards the General Assembly had in mind for consequences and remedial action when they passed the School Violence Prevention Act last year. Controlling the bad publicity the football team continues to create for the school seems remedial. It also seems inconsequential. Consequential censure should take place in Kenan Stadium and on game day(s).
Thorp humanely reminds us that “violent acts of hate, bias and discrimination [that] occur on the basis of sexual orientation [are] a matter of concern for every one of us.” He is absolutely right, but is the football team still one of “us?”
School of Social Work