Meredith College Athletics Disputes Alleged Use of Racial Slur on Basketball Court


Photo courtesy of Meredith College Athletics

Trigger warning: mention of racial slurs


On March 8, ABC 11 released an article detailing an alleged incident between an unnamed member or members of Meredith College’s basketball team and a member of William Peace University’s women’s basketball team, Lauryn Cross. According to Cross, a member of Meredith’s basketball team called some of her teammates “the N-word” during the March 3 game. This incident followed a similar encounter that Cross had with a player at Mary Baldwin University, where she says the white player repeatedly called her the racial slur and used other insults. Cross defended herself by punching the other player and was then suspended by William Peace for four games following the incident at Mary Baldwin. According to an article from ESPN, Cross says the unidentified Meredith player “flashed an obscene gesture at her through the window of a door separating the teams' locker rooms” in addition to “baiting her with racial slurs and other expletives” during the game. Cross and the player later crossed paths in the parking lot, where the player was “sticking up her middle finger and saying a lot of things,” according to a statement from Cross in the ESPN article. Following the incident at Meredith, Cross was then suspended again by William Peace “for her behavior after the game, based on allegations that she was aggressive toward the player.”


The Meredith Herald reached out to Meredith’s Athletics Director, Jackie Myers, for comment. Myers stated that Meredith Athletics has been working to “determine what occurred during the game” with William Peace and that “Meredith Athletics disputes the version of the interaction that has been presented in the media.” Following an individual questioning of all members of the basketball team and a review of the game tape, Meredith Athletics “found no evidence that any slurs or derogatory comments occurred.”


However, as is required by the USA South Athletic Conference, Meredith did submit a report to the commissioner. The Herald spoke with Commissioner Tom Hart, who said that he has been in contact with both Meredith and William Peace and that “should inquiries into allegations discover inappropriate actions, the conference will respond accordingly.”


Additionally, Meredith’s Head Basketball Coach LaQuanda Quick issued a statement, the entirety of which can be found in the ABC 11 article. In part, Quick’s statement reads, “The Meredith College basketball team and the College’s athletics program take accusations of racism, on the court or off, very seriously…we have vowed that our program would be a shining example of what diversity and acceptance should look like on campus and throughout our country…As a team we stand in solidarity with the Black community. Our diversity is what makes us great.”


Marquetta Dickens, Head Women’s Basketball Coach at William Peace, confirmed to The Herald that the William Peace and Meredith basketball teams have been in communication with each other. Dickens added that she has “spoken to Meredith's head coach about the discrepancies from both of our teams on this incident” and that she would “like to see every player in these situations grow and learn from their mistakes, and focus on the game vs trying to gain a competitive edge by trash talking.”


By Olivia Slack, Co-Editor in Chief

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