Football (American) | Gay Slurs | Matthew Shepard | Mississippi | Moises Kaufman | News | Theatre

20 Ole Miss Football Players Heckle 'Laramie Project' Production, Call Students 'Fags'

Approximately 20 Ole Miss football players were involved in a mass heckling incident at a University of Mississippi production of The Laramie Project, the Moises Kaufman play about the Matthew Shepard murder.

The Daily Mississippian reports: Olemiss

According to the play's director and theater faculty member Rory Ledbetter, some audience members used derogatory slurs like "fag" and heckled both cast members and the characters they were portraying for their body types and sexual orientations. Ledbetter said the audience's reactions included "borderline hate speech."

The football players were at the play because of a theater course requirement.

Said Ledbetter:

"The football players were certainly not the only audience members that were being offensive last night. 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."

Junior theater major Garrison Gibbons said the incident offered a real-life example of the play's subject matter: “I am the only gay person on the cast. I played a gay character in the show, and to be ridiculed like that was something that really made me realize that some people at Ole Miss and in Mississippi still can’t accept me for who I am.”

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  1. There's nothing "borderline" about FAG, people: faggots are bundles of wood used to make the fire burn hotter around the guest of honor at the stake. Give Mississippi back to whoever the hell wants it.

    Posted by: Onnyjay | Oct 3, 2013 11:58:19 AM

  2. Oh, Lord. Athletic academic advisors are always sticking student athletes into theater (acting) classes. Put them in a human sexuality class. Maybe they'll learn something.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Oct 3, 2013 12:00:25 PM

  3. Is that the confirmed derivation Onnyjay? There are a couple other theories.

    Anyhow, not to excuse them, about asking for trouble. Mississppi football team attends a theater class en masse, I guess because it's the easiest subjects in which to give them a passing grade, and are forced to go to a production of The Laramie Project? No, of course that isn't going to result in some homophobic slurs. Nothing could possibly go wrong with that! It's practically like a story at the Onion.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Oct 3, 2013 12:04:04 PM

  4. Ole Miss athletes are incapable of larnin' anything but the x's and o's associated with Rebel futball larnin'. The hooded KKKers of the Old South live - only this time they wear football helmets instead of pointy hoods with eye holes. Disgusting!

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Oct 3, 2013 12:05:16 PM

  5. Maybe Andrew Sullivan will do a blog post about how this wasn't really anti-gay heckling, but rather the fallout of a drug deal gone bad.

    Posted by: Bill | Oct 3, 2013 12:06:46 PM

  6. "There's nothing "borderline" about FAG, people: faggots are bundles of wood used to make the fire burn hotter around the guest of honor at the stake. Give Mississippi back to whoever the hell wants it."
    God, how many times have I heard this misinformation? "Faggot" is an old english word, and yes, meaning a bundle of sticks. Burning was never a crime for homosexuality/sodomy in Britain. Hanging was. Faggot become a derogatory term for a silly old woman, "you old faggot" during the later middle ages, and this is presumably how it ended up being applied to gay men. Do your research. Having said that, obviously 'fag' is unacceptable and the people that heckled this show are mindless apes who deserve to have the sh*t slapped out of them.

    Posted by: danswon | Oct 3, 2013 12:15:31 PM

  7. Oh, that "borderline" hate speech stings the most. The world didn't change overnight. Gayness was thrust upon people, they didn't vote for it. You expect great changes in the population? It's amusing to read gays insult men who could scare the crap out of them.

    Posted by: TP | Oct 3, 2013 12:29:17 PM

  8. I'm a theatre teacher at a college, and in my opinion those 20 guys just failed my class. If you aren't enjoying the performance, get up and leave. It's called etiquette. Also, I disagree that theatre courses are the easiest to pass. I've taught many athletes. Some pass. Some fail. Grades are not a forgone conclusion. As I state that, I admit I do not know how things work at Ole Miss. Perhaps Freeze coaches under different rules.

    Posted by: bigdaddy | Oct 3, 2013 12:30:40 PM

  9. @ "Gayness was thrust upon people..."

    "thrust"? Nobody is asking the Ol' Miss players to make a Gay porn movie, TP. Just act a little civilized.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Oct 3, 2013 12:36:57 PM

  10. Wow I am impressed that they were even able to put on that production. but as usual I am not shocked by the football players but disappointed by the others in the audience that didn't tell them to shut the f up. I think I would have stood up and stopped the production until they either behaved or left.

    Posted by: Bellah | Oct 3, 2013 12:39:18 PM

  11. @ TP

    It has nothing to do with gayness or anything else. It's called "common courtesy" -- obviously not something they know about in Mississippi.

    Posted by: Hunter | Oct 3, 2013 12:45:06 PM

  12. Just a bunch of a future burger flippers who think they are someone because football is a pseudo-religion.

    Posted by: Steve | Oct 3, 2013 12:50:06 PM

  13. Seems that the coaching staff of Ole Miss failed miserably in making their student athletes role models for the university. These actions disgraced the university as well as ALL the student athletes on this campus. They are supposed to be learning on this institution: so much for that Olr Miss

    Posted by: John Kinslow | Oct 3, 2013 12:51:04 PM

  14. Here's an update:

    Posted by: G. Underwood | Oct 3, 2013 12:57:42 PM

  15. As we say here in Alabama, "Thank God for MIssissippi!"

    Posted by: Raybob | Oct 3, 2013 1:16:14 PM

  16. I too would have thought it appropriate to pause the production, and have these people expelled from the theater. I certainly hope these kids do not get credit for attending.

    Posted by: Critifur | Oct 3, 2013 1:22:58 PM

  17. I wonder why they only show a pic of the helmets?

    1 Dehendret Collins
    1 Laquon Treadwell
    2 Quintavius Burdette
    2 DeVante Kincade
    3 Eugene Brazley
    3 Charles Sawyer
    3 Jeff Scott RB
    4 Kailo Moore
    4 Denzel Nkemdiche
    5 I'Tavius Mathers
    5 Robert Nkemdiche
    6 Cliff Coleman

    7 Trae Elston
    8 Quincy Adeboyejo
    8 Chief Brown
    8 Terrell Grant
    9 D.T. Shackelford
    10 C.J. Johnson
    10 Vince Sanders
    11 Channing Ward
    12 Tony Conner
    12 Donte Moncrief
    13 Brishen Mathews
    14 Serderius Bryant
    15 Bobby Hill
    17 Quadarias Mireles
    19 Derrick Jones
    20 Carlos Davis
    21 Senquez Golson
    21 Darius Henderson
    21 Jordan Holder
    22 Tyriek Gracia
    22 Ray Ray Smith
    22 Jordan Wilkins
    28 LaKedrick King
    28 Korvic Neat
    32 Temario Strong
    35 Ontario Berry
    42 Amon'Ta Coffee

    45 Lavon Hooks
    73 Darone Bailey
    76 Daronte Bouldin NASHVILLE, TN
    85 Ja-Mes Logan

    Posted by: Hagatha | Oct 3, 2013 1:22:58 PM

  18. Suspend the players from the team or even kick them off for "conduct unbecoming".

    Then these 'scholar-athletes' will begin learning.

    Posted by: Esther Blodgett | Oct 3, 2013 1:24:26 PM

  19. If I recall,Medgar Egers ,a black activst was shot trying to get blacks students into Ole Miss. There are many blacks today going to Ole Miss. and play on their football team. I think a public apology from the Top down,and especially the football program should take place before the next game. Those not taking part should be cut from the team.

    Posted by: Jerry Pritikin the bleacher Preacher | Oct 3, 2013 1:25:09 PM

  20. " Burning was never a crime for homosexuality/sodomy in Britain. Hanging was."

    Well, good! Now that we got that settled...

    Posted by: tranquilo | Oct 3, 2013 1:27:36 PM

  21. This is shocking news that black people are homophobic.

    Posted by: Frank | Oct 3, 2013 1:32:19 PM

  22. Borderline hate speech?

    Posted by: NBeans | Oct 3, 2013 1:32:54 PM

  23. Frank:

    Where did you read that only Black players were required to attend the performance?

    Oh, and Hagatha, based on a locker photo I found by googling--probably about 70% of this season's are what you and Frank assume them to be.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Oct 3, 2013 1:49:46 PM

  24. Ole Miss graduates about only 6 in 10 of their football players. Am surpised its that high

    Posted by: Urbane | Oct 3, 2013 2:09:45 PM

  25. Will there EVER come a day in my lifetime when my home state and my Alma Mater won't make me ashamed?

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Oct 3, 2013 2:28:45 PM

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