Ole Miss Players Disrupt School Play
Several members of Ole Miss’ football team enforced the worst jock stereotypes possible with their behavior during a campus production of “The Laramie Project” on Tuesday night.
During the play - which is about an openly gay male, Matthew Shepard, who was murdered in Wyoming in 1998 - some audience members used derogatory slurs like “fag” and heckled cast members and the characters they were portraying for their body types and sexual orientations.
“The football players were certainly not the only audience members that were being offensive last night,” the play’s director, Rory Ledbetter, told The Daily Mississippian. “But they were definitely the ones who seemed to initiate others in the audience to say things, too. It seemed like they didn’t know that they were representing the university when they were doing these things.”
An estimated 20 Rebels players were in attendance, reportedly as part of a requirement for a freshman-level theater course in which they are enrolled. Per a request by the athletic department, an undisclosed player apologized to the cast on behalf of his teammates, but it came across as a “too little too late” gesture.
“I’m not sure the players truly understood what they were apologizing for,” school theatre department chair Rene Pulliam told the Mississippian.
Cast member Rachel Staton put it best: “If I can go support and respect the football team in their stadium, I feel like they should be able to support and respect me and my fellow cast members when we are doing a show.”
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