Days after sexist and suggestive slides from a university Chalk Talk for women event went viral, Texas A&M president Michael K. Young released an official statement to The Eagle’s Travis Brown.
Young specifically denounced the sexism in light of the university being commended as a top university for women, and specified that both men and women should be outraged.
As you may know, presentations containing insensitive, disrespectful content were given by two coaches at a football “Chalk Talk for Women” event hosted by the Athletic Department. Like many of you who learned of this, I was and remain dismayed, disappointed and angry. This behavior is not who we are as Aggies are and is totally unacceptable. To be clear, this is not a females-only concern, but a human one. In fact, the majority of those weighing in with their disdain have been men who are equally as disturbed by the content presented.
The suspension of the two coaches involved, as well as other disciplinary measures taken, were made swiftly by Coach Sumlin. Of course, this is only a start. To that end, for example, the Athletic Department is engaged in ongoing education that will address this issues.
I have the privilege of witnessing daily the core value of respect demonstrated by our faculty, administrators, staff, students, athletes and coaches. We were proud to announce in July that Texas A&M University was named by College Choice as one of the nation’s top universities for women. We must also be aware of when we fall short of our aspirations and values. We must be willing to be honest when this occurs and work together to drive the positive, enriching, respectful environment that our community deserves.
The Chalk Talk event in question was a women’s fundraiser to benefit the Twin City Mission in Bryan, Texas. Over 700 women attended the event, which was intended to increase support for Aggie football. One slide featured the Aggie War Hymn, but edited with lyrics about cleaning and hormones. Others featured sexually suggestive verbiage.
Texas A&M football coach Kevin Sumlin apologized on Friday after the slides came out. Assistant coaches Jeff Banks and Jim Turner, who were responsible for the slides, were suspended for two weeks without pay. The suspensions will continue into the beginning of fall camp on Aug. 8.