A White track and field and cross country athlete for UCLA has been dismissed from both teams after video and text messages of him going on a racist and sexist rant during what appeared to be a heartbreak meltdown were posted on social media.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the video in question – which was shared on Instagram – showed Chris Weiland in a vehicle complaining about his girlfriend cheating on him. He was also later captured having a phone conversation where he allegedly used a racial slur to refer to his girlfriend’s supposed new love interest.
“When she says she doesn’t, you know, want to get back together, why do you think?” Weiland reportedly questioned a woman he was on the phone with. “It’s because she wants to be with this f— f— who has no future. She’s going to be with a stupid n— who’s going to be in community college all his life.”
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Though the woman told him to mind what he was saying, Weiland replied: “I don’t give a f—.” When the woman also asked him where the supposed person his girlfriend was cheating on him with stayed, Weiland – who could be heard crying – replied: “I don’t know, probably the …. ghetto.”
The incident reportedly happened before Weiland enrolled at UCLA in 2019. He was, however, reportedly wearing a UCLA sweatshirt in the video.
Weiland was initially suspended indefinitely from the UCLA team after authorities became aware of the incident, but was later reinstated. The Instagram account that shared the video also posted another photo of Weiland wearing UCLA athletic gear with a Black Lives Matter patch, stating that he still remained on the team “after this racist behavior was brought to coaches and the athletic director months ago. … We will not remain silent. We must be anti-racist in a racist society,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
In a statement to announce his dismissal from the team on Tuesday, UCLA track coach Avery Anderson admitted reinstating Weiland after his initial indefinite suspension was “not the right decision.”
“Even in my disgust, as a coach, my intentions are always to lead and educate and make the change happen that I want to see in this world,” Anderson said. “I can talk about changing the world, or I can put in the work to do so. And that is what I have done over the last few months with this individual.”
Anderson added: “In January, I decided to reinstate him to the team. However, after team members and the athletic community expressed concern, it became clear that his continued involvement with the team is incompatible with the culture of mutual support and respect we’re fostering. I now realize that the decision to reinstate him was not the right decision, and that the action today is best for the well-being of our team.”
UCLA’s Black Student-Athlete Alliance also released a statement calling Weiland out for his choice of words. They also criticized the university for not being expeditious in dismissing him from the team when they got wind of the incident, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“As a university that champions itself on the accomplishments of its Black athletes that have broken the barriers of social justice, we find it deeply disturbing to learn that UCLA knew about an incident of blatant racism, homophobia and sexism and did very minimal actions about it,” the statement read.
“The racist actions that took place by a member of the cross country team are unacceptable and disrespectful, and we at BSAA refuse to accept the actions of that athlete, as well as the lack of action to address the issues by the coaches, staff and administration. We do not feel safe with this person on campus, and we demand UCLA athletics take action immediately and remove this student from the team.”