UCLA dismissed track and field and cross country runner Chris Weiland on Monday evening after an alleged video and text message exchange surfaced on Instagram of him using racist and sexist language.
Head coach Avery Anderson announced Weiland’s dismissal in a statement from the team’s Twitter account Monday night, while also acknowledging that he had previously suspended Weiland.
“Chris Weiland has been dismissed as a member of the cross country and track and field teams,” Anderson’s statement said. “When first learning of this a few months ago, I was disgusted and immediately suspended him indefinitely from 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. 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.”
After reinstating Weiland in January, Anderson said in his statement that “was not the right decision” after team members expressed concern that Weiland’s “continued involvement with the team is incompatible with the culture of mutual support and respect we’re fostering.”
Before Weiland’s dismissal, the UCLA Black Student-Athlete Association on Sunday had issued a statement saying it was “deeply disturbing to learn that UCLA knew about an incident of blatant racism, homophobia, and sexism and did very minimal actions about it.”
The four-minute video of Weiland’s alleged remarks was posted to social media, and a man can be heard using anti-gay and racist slurs. In addition to the video, text messages allegedly from Weiland that included racist and sexist comments were also posted to social media. [source: ESPN]
Weiland had previously been suspended from the team over the text message and video, which were only announced publicly on Monday, but were later reinstated by coach Avery Anderson.
He was then permanently banned on Tuesday after the video surfaced using the N-word and homophobic and sexist slurs while complaining that a friend left him for an African American. According to the Los Angeles Times, the incidents occurred before Weiland enrolled at UCLA in the fall of 2019.
On Monday, an Instagram account with the handle ‘@ucla_is_racist’ published several posts in which someone who allegedly is Weiland makes racist comments on videos and text messages. The same report claimed in a headline that “this racist behavior was demonstrated to coaches and the sporting director months ago,” but stated that “Chris Weiland was still on the team”.