The Duke women’s lacrosse is dealing with ongoing criticism related to a controversial photo posted on GoDuke.com, the University’s official athletics website.
The photo in question features Duke women’s lacrosse player Taylor Virden, a junior, dressed in blackface for a Halloween costume intended portray Buckwheat, a character from Little Rascals. The party took place at the home of women’s lacrosse head coach Kerstin Kimel.
Duke alum Jordan Woodson tweeted about the photo, which has since been replaced in the article by this one.
“Duke openly showing one of their women’s lax players in blackface,” Woodson tweeted.
Sports broadcaster Bomani Jones later retweeted about the photo, saying “wtf.”
The story has since been posted on Deadspin, BroBible and MSN.
The photo was posted as part of a large rotating gallery submitted by members of the team, said Mike Schoenfeld, Duke vice president for public affairs and government relations. Duke Athletics will now review each individual photo before posting them.
Kimel issued this statement in response to the fallout.
“The Duke Women’s Lacrosse program celebrates Halloween with an annual gathering. This year, some of our costume choices were insensitive and entirely inappropriate. No offense was intended, but that does not matter because we should have realized how these choices would be viewed by those outside of our program. On behalf of our coaching staff and our student-athletes, we apologize to anyone we may have offended and understand while we believed we were making decisions in good fun, we should have been much more sensitive to the implications of our actions.”
Art Chase, head sports information director, declined request for comment from The Chronicle, noting that Virden does not have comment this time.
updated 5:50 p.m. Monday