Hurdle Tripping

UCLA athlete banned from team over homophobic, racist messages

via UCLA

A student at the University of California, Los Angeles has been widely condemned for posting a video of himself to social media using homophobic and racist language. Public outcry over the post prompted UCLA to ban him from the track team.

Chris Weiland, a Senior at UCLA, joined the university’s track and field team after transferring to the school in 2019. Then, last year, video surfaced of Weiland sitting in a darkened car engaged in a heated phone discussion talking about a girlfriend who had cheated on him.

“It’s because she wants to be with this f*cking f*ggot who has no future,” he allegedly said in the video. “She’s going to be with a stupid n*gger who’s going to be in community college all his life.”

In a bit of foreshadowing, the person Weiland was talking to in the video chastises him for “saying crazy things.” “Don’t talk like that,” she also says.

Track and field coach Avery Anderson said he first learned of the video last year and suspended Weiland over the remarks. Several months later, in January 2020, he reinstated Weiland to the team.

“Even in my disgust, as a coach, my intentions are always to lead and educate and make the change happen that I want to see in this world,” Anderson said in a statement. “I can talk about changing the world, or I can put in the work to do so. And that is what I have done over the last few months with this individual.”

Then, the video resurfaced on social media. Last week, it appeared on an Instagram account (since deleted) called “ucla_is_racist.” The anonymous poster also included several text messages sent by Weiland using racial slurs.

Related: Homophobic rugby star Israel Folau “bombarded” with gay adult content on new team

The blowback came swiftly, with UCLA’s Black Student-Athlete Association releasing a statement declaring it “deeply disturbing to learn that UCLA knew about an incident of blatant racism, homophobia, and sexism and did very minimal actions about it. We at BSAA refuse to accept the actions of that athlete, as well as the lack of action to address the issue by coaches, staff, and administration.”

The public outcry at UCLA prompted Avery Anderson to permanently remove Weiland from the team.

“Chris Weiland has been dismissed as a member of the cross country and track and field teams,” Anderson said on Twitter. He added, “It became clear that his continued involvement with the team is incompatible with the culture of mutual support and respect we’re fostering.”

“I now realize that the decision to reinstate him was not the right decision, and that the action today is best for the well-being of our team,” he concluded.

At the time of this writing, Chris Weiland has not commented publicly on the video or his dismissal from the team.