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:

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.”


  1. Onnyjay says

    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.

  2. Derrick from Philly says

    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.

  3. EchtKultig says

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

    Anyhow, not to excuse them, but…talk 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.

  4. HadenoughBS says

    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!

  5. danswon says

    “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.

  6. TP says

    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.

  7. bigdaddy says

    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.

  8. Derrick from Philly says

    @ “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.

  9. Bellah says

    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.

  10. John Kinslow says

    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

  11. Critifur says

    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.

  12. Hagatha says

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

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

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

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

  13. Esther Blodgett says

    Suspend the players from the team or even kick them off for “conduct unbecoming”.

    Then these ‘scholar-athletes’ will begin learning.

  14. says

    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.

  15. Derrick from Philly says


    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.

  16. jomicur says

    So we have still another demonstration of the swell way “sports builds character.” Athletes are all such super-duper role models. OJ, A-Rod, Oscar Pistorius, the Ole Miss football team…

  17. Derrick from Philly says

    It isn’t a photo. It’s a whole damn video about their new uniforms.


    The video isn’t worth watching, but David Hagatha Hearne took this discussion in a certain direction. And I must give my “reliable and predictable” response to such “reliable and predictable” crap.

    Now, I don’t really know how White Southern college football players feel about Gay people and violence against Gay people. But I certainly know the feelings of the politicians who represent them locally and nationally.

  18. Keith says

    A missed opportunity for a teachable moment. Where is the Theatre class instructor in all of this who required the football players to attend? If the instructor wasn’t present to witness the incident, then at least the instructor should bring the actors and producers of the show to the theatre class and have a discussion with the football players about the experience. Such incidences should never go unchallenged, nor with ignorant posts. . .not all football players are intolerant, and not all individuals in Mississippi are bigoted.

  19. Stephen says

    Pack mentality, meathead football players from the south. What do you expect? If you do not like what goes on in the south, then MOOVE, because it is not changing any time soon.

  20. says

    I do not desire to excuse their behavior but for a lot of us here in America, homosexuality is an unnatural and deviant sexual behavior that we find very distasteful. We do not “hate” homosexuals, we just simply do not approve of that lifestyle. I do not dislike homosexuals, I have homosexual friends, but I do not feel comfortable when homosexuals push their homosexuality in my face. And that is ok, feeling uncomfortable is a valuable part of the human experience because it is good for us to practice patience and tolerance for others even if they make us uncomfortable. As a Christian, I am commanded to love others and to nurture a tender heart towards ALL of my brothers and sisters regardless of how they present themselves!

  21. Derrick from Philly says

    Here we go!

    You find some bad apples in one group and you have to insult an entire state, region, country, nationality, race…soon to be planet.

    @ TampaZeke,

    when you find progressive thinking folks on the issue of Gay civil rights in Mississippi they probably came from your Alma Mater.

    Fifty years ago? Yeah, you’d have had reason to be ashamed of the University of Mississippi. But not now.

  22. Rick says

    “The hooded KKKers of the Old South live – only this time they wear football helmets instead of pointy hoods with eye holes. Disgusting!”

    “What a bunch of inbred sisterfuckers. Perpetuating is ignorance of the south.
    Good job, assholes!”

    Actually, it might interest you white liberals who inhabit the East and West Coasts to know that at Ole Miss, as at pretty much every SEC school, about 85% of the scholarship football players are black.

    Undoubtedly, that demographic was reflected in the group of players who heckled the play….

    You see, in this instance, as in so many others, whether the defeat of Prop 8 or other ballot initiatives or the recent defeat of the same-sex marriage bill in Illinois……or the epidemic of gay bashings in New York and other cities we have seen recently……or the attempts to make gay sex punishable by death, as we have seen all across Africa…….in all these instances, the culprit is the same: the black race that you white liberals coddle, defend, and lie for at every turn, even as they spit in your white liberal gay faces in reaction to it.

    And it is getting worse, not better, in part because, as much as you hate to face it, the homophobia of blacks towards white gays, in particular, is motivated at least as much by their racist hatred of whites and other races as it is by homophobia per se.

    They hate white gay men more than any group in the population….and that means you…..and your continued efforts to deny and/or cover up the truth, in this case, and in so many others, will continue blow up in your faces.

  23. DW says

    Kim Sylvest, who exactly are these “homosexual friends” of yours? And how do they feel about your patronizing attitude? Do please invite one or more of them to add a comment here about how much they appreciate your “patience,” “tolerance” and “tender heart.” And please stop pushing your heterosexuality in our faces (I notice your Facebook page proudly states that you are “in a relationship” with a woman).

  24. Rick says

    “Pack mentality, meathead football players from the south. What do you expect? If you do not like what goes on in the south, then MOOVE, because it is not changing any time soon”

    And do you think that “what goes on in the South” does not go on among blacks regardless of where they live–whether New York, Chicago, LA, Oakland, or Philadelphia?

    If you had sat a group of black males from anywhere in this country–or anywhere in the entire world, for that matter–in this same theater and exposed them to the same play, you would have gotten EXACTLY THE SAME REACTION.

  25. Derrick from Philly says

    @ “They hate white gay men more than any group in the population…”

    Ha! The ones who actually kill must hate themselves more because it’s other
    Blacks who get killed NOT White Gay men.

    You lying creature. You couldn’t stay in your “creation” named Hagatha–so you had to come out in this discussion as yourself–whatever that is.

    LOL @ “….homophobia of blacks towards white gays, in particular, is motivated at least as much by their racist hatred of whites and other races as it is by homophobia per se.”

    Well, God darnit! How come they can never take your kooky azz outta’ here?

    Racist? Really? So, you have proof that large numbers of Blacks feel that Whites and other races are inferior to them…I mean, us?

    Sometimes I wonder if you look as crazy as you are. You know, something like John Wayne Gacy.

    And the irony is that based on your comments about Gay men (White, Black, whatever) and YOUR “culture of effeminacy” complaint– you may be the most homophobic voice to ever come on this blog.

  26. Rick says

    “Racist? Really? So, you have proof that large numbers of Blacks feel that Whites and other races are inferior to them…I mean, us?”

    Racist in the sense of the hatred and resentment they feel towards other races, not in the sense of feeling superior. On the contrary, the hatred blacks routinely display towards other races comes from an acute sense of inferiority–compounded in the case of black men by the emasculation that enslavement by other races represented–and that is a big part of the reason that homophobia among black men is the most vicious that one finds among any group.

    It is basically driven by feelings of impotence.

  27. BuckeyeWxGuy says

    Hit the idiots where they live. Suspend the accused for a game or two and require sensitivity training. Then you’d see an uproar @ Ole Miss. Mess with their football and you’ll get a reaction. And if you say, “Don’t punish the whole team for the actions of a few…” think about this, there is a culture of hate that is being fostered and reinforced somewhere. I predict it is within the walls of the stadium.

  28. erry says

    Ole Miss is at the bottom of the bucket in terms of overall intelligence and football players are at the bottom of that bucket. They are not real students to begin with and should only be allowed to attend cultural events when on a lease. They are a waste of scholarship money but then what is a scholarship to Ole Miss worth anyway. No one will be punished. How do you teach tolerance to someone with a 75 IQ?

  29. Rick says

    Perhaps if these performers didn’t feel the need to harass their audience with such emotionally charged and one-sided observations on what was obviously a robbery gone bad (and by all accounts Matthew Shepard make a move on his attackers – he’s no innocent flower), they wouldn’t have received this response from the more masculine members of the athletic community in attendance. I never flaunted myself or my sexual orientation in college and my masculine, straight peers never lashed out at me. You don’t make progress socially or politically by making your peers uncomfortable.

  30. Dback says

    I’m with Buckeye–hit ’em where they live and put all of the players who were at the show on a 3-game suspension; if that means that Ole Miss has to forfeit those games, oh well. (This will never happen, because college football coaches, especially those in the South, are completely gutless–but it should.) I don’t give a damn if the players are white, black, green, or plaid, they’re entitled and cruel morons and need to be taught a lesson.

    (For those who think I denigrate the South without personal experience, I spent a year as an exchange student with a guy from Mississippi, and if he wasn’t blathering on about “Ole Miss” and shooting things with his brothers, he was yelling “Hell yeah, kiss my rebel ass!” They grow up big and handsome down South–but not always kind or smart.)

    Wow, Rick, packing racism AND Matthew Shepard conspiracy theories into one post. Isn’t it time for your nightly Thorazine drip and readings from “Mein Kampf”?

  31. hot dumb italian mike says

    Sad part is, a lot of this assholery is still ignored in the South. Thanks for the list Hagatha, but the other question is , who is giving these guys these dumb ass first names.

  32. rk8289 says

    As a recent Ole Miss grad, and in partial defense of the school and the rest of the student body, I think it’s important to point out that most if not all of the involved players are freshmen, which means they’ve been at the school for less than 2 months. Their behavior was deplorable and should be punished, and I’m reserving judgement on the administration and coaches until I see how they ultimately respond, but I do hope that we can hold back some judgement of the entire student body and state because of the actions of ignorant teenagers.

  33. Hagatha says

    Derrick – I wasn’t working from a photo, I was working from the 2013 roster. There are 44 freshmen on the team, 25 black and 19 white. My post was about media bias, not racial propensity to violence.

  34. Hagatha says

    Maybe the play sucks?

    I was thinking about this today, and we’re talking about a performance here, not a lecture. A performance of entertainment. Any time you perform for the entertainment of the public you run the risk of being booed. It’s hardly the reserve of meatheads or hayseeds, the Italian opera fanatics are notorious for booing even famous performers.

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