UCLA fired track-and-field and cross-country runner Chris Weiland Monday night after an alleged exchange of text and video messages of him using racist and sexist language appeared on Instagram.
Head Coach Avery Anderson announced the dismissal of Weiland in a statement on the team’s Twitter account Monday night, though he also acknowledged that he had previously suspended Weiland.
“Chris Weiland has been fired as a member of the cross country and track and field teams,” Anderson’s statement said. “When I first learned about this a few months ago, I was upset and suspended him indefinitely from the team immediately.
“Even in my disgust, as a coach, my intentions are always to lead and educate and make the change I want to see happen in this world. I can talk about changing the world, or I can work to do it.” . And that’s what I’ve done in the last few months with this guy. “
After reinstating Weiland in January, Anderson said in his statement that it was “not the right decision” after team members raised concerns that Weiland’s “continued involvement with the team is incompatible with the culture of mutual support. and respect that we are fostering. “
Before Weiland’s firing, the UCLA Black Student-Athletes Association issued a statement Sunday saying it was “deeply disturbing to learn that UCLA knew about an incident of blatant racism, homophobia and sexism and took very little action on it.”
The four-minute video of Weiland’s alleged comments was posted on social media, and a man can be heard using racist and anti-gay slurs. In addition to the video, text messages allegedly from Weiland that included racist and sexist comments were also posted on social media.