A picture on GoDuke.com, the official website of Duke University athletics, caused a little controversy today. The photo, which has been removed, featured several members of the women’s lacrosse team and one of the players is dressed up in blackface.
According to Dead Spin, the photo was taken at a team Halloween party at the home of head coach Kerstin Kimel. The players were all decided to dress up as the Little Rascals and since no Little Rascals group costume is complete without Buckwheat one of the white players had to put on blackface.
The incident raises two questions: How can people still not know that wearing blackface at anytime, in any place, and for any reason is inappropriate? How could the University publish the photo on the internet?
Kimel released a statement on Duke’s website saying that the costume was “entirely inappropriate.”
“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.”
What do you think of the Duke Lacrosse team’s Little Rascal costume? Was wearing blackface inappropriate?