NCAA Current UCLA Situation (Alexis Jeffery Transfer)

GYMNASTICS
Parents... Coaches... Judges... Gymnasts...
DON'T LURK... Join The Discussion!

Members See FEWER Ads!
Join for FREE!
Status
Not open for further replies.

NutterButter

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Jan 24, 2013
898
Right, and you want the NCAA, the model of organizational perfection (sarcasm) to write a rule on policing racism?! The NFL, the NBA and other pre-eminent sports organizations don't even have that. Who writes it? Who gets to say what is racist versus what isn't? Or what is a poor mistake versus egregious one?

I expect more from the NCAA. This is the NCAA mission statement pulled from their website. Protecting people from racism fits in with their stated priorities. And given that it's an organization of college students why not have a policy that both remedies and, if necessary, punishes those who break rules? Do you believe that is too much to ask?

Mission and Priorities

The NCAA is a member-led organization focused on cultivating an environment that emphasizes academics, fairness and well-being across college sports.

Academics

To get the most out of college, student-athletes have to succeed on the court and in the classroom. The NCAA provides opportunities to learn, compete and grow on and off the field. The ultimate goal of the college experience is graduation, and college athletes are graduating at rates that are higher than ever.

Fairness

With so much changing in college sports, rule changes are focused on improving the student-athlete experience. The NCAA is committed to providing a fair, inclusive and fulfilling environment for student-athletes and giving them a voice in the decision-making process.

Well-Being

In 1906, the NCAA was founded to keep college athletes safe. The Association is still working hard to protect them physically and mentally. Through its Sport Science Institute, the NCAA provides recommendations and guidelines to ensure college athletes are getting the best care possible.
 

gym_dad32608

Proud Parent
Aug 7, 2018
402
54
And given that it's an organization of college students

Its an organization of academic institutions not college students. I agree with you, we should expect more from the NCAA, I also expect more from my elected officials. But nothing in the history of NCAA suggests they have any ability to do such a thing. I am only saying its not realistic to expect this loose organization of different universities to come up with a fair and comprehensive policy regarding racism in sports when the most structured and organized ones cant.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lurker

gymgal

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,682
Part of the reason for allowing the transfers is to get student-athletes out of a bad situation. This was certainly a bad situation for all involved. If she was forced to stay at UCLA, it would have been made worse. One would hope that LSU set the ground rules and this will be the end of the behavior (not holding my breath). This does not excuse the UCLA staff from dealing with this situation more appropriately but it should allow the team to move on more easily from it than if she had stayed

I did not know about the other transgressions like body shaming etc until I just read them here. This is clearly a young person who shows little regard for her fellow teammates (and others in general) and feels she is above them all regardless of race. She has a lot of growing up to do
 

TumbleTimes4

Proud Parent
Sep 13, 2016
590
I’m going to disagree with comments about Jay Clark and LSU. Having watched him address it at the press conference, I think he handled it as best as he could. He met with his team first and got the team’s approval and he also worked with ACK, a woman of color who is also the director of LSU’s DEI and she was also on board with bringing her in. He said he tried to reach out to UCLA to learn more about the situation but they didn’t respond to his calls.

 

Tiffany

Proud Parent
Sep 29, 2018
24
42

Really complex situation. Sad that we have gotten to a point in our society that we are so divided that we cant possibly see how the other side might feel and just issue a simple apology....

Summary of the story as it stands now, Jefferies was singing a song in practice that had lyrics using the N word. When approached by African American teammates about how it was offensive to them, she was apparently indignant and refused to apologize. A series of performative (Fraziers words) workshops were held. Which left no-one feeling better. Coaches told black athletes they were concerned about Jeffries mental health, which made them more upset. Jeffries claimed she was bullied and hence left. Whole team is upset.

Seems like a simple apology at the beginning would have avoided this whole mess. Not sure what the admin/coaches were supposed to do other than what they did? The article alludes to making Jeffries sit 2 meets, but does that really accomplish anything? Everyone seems a little bad here in my opinion.

Have you seen micro-aggressions in your gyms/meets? Just curious.
What a mess. I have 2 teenage daughter’s and asked them about this. Apparently kids walk around singing the trendy songs no matter the lyrics….not in a racial way and half of their friends are African American…they all sing together I guess. The odd thing is that a couple people were offended so she should’ve apologized…plain and simple. Was she trying to offend singing a song…probably not, but someone gets offended so you say you’re sorry and everyone moves on. Why does everything have to get to this level….everyone needs to try harder to get along and coexist.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gym_dad32608
Nov 10, 2008
85
Beyond the singing of the song, Margz and Sekai are clear in their interview that AJ used the word multiple times when not singing, and also used the term "niggardly" in a way to be as offensive as possible. It's not clear if she knows that it has a different origin, but it's very clear that she knew what is was a near-homonym for and was using it in that context. Both later uses of the n-word and the other comment should have provoked disciplinary action, after she'd refused to internalize education on the topic. Ranking other people, especially teammates, by attractiveness (or any other attribute) is also never acceptable and should have faced disciplinary action.

The staff comes off even worse. Telling the team that it would be their fault if AJ hurt herself should be grounds for a reprimand and education alone, at minimum. The assistant AD saying to Margz, "You’re still not over it?" was completely inappropriate. And it sounds like the situation of AJ threatening self harm resulted in significant special treatment, when a similar situation with Sekai Wright did not--a private photo shoot being arranged for AJ when she didn't feel comfortable around the team, vs. Sekai just being left out of the photoshoot under similar circumstances. It's completely possible that the different treatments were due to implicit bias, but that doesn't make it acceptable. Nor was telling the black athletes on the team they had to be nice to AJ because she was scared of them. It sounds like they handled the situation in general--and broader mental health issues on the team for a while--about as poorly as is possible.
 

cmg

Proud Parent
Jul 2, 2018
156
63
So although I am saddened by what is going on at UCLA I am not surprised. Racism is racism and no, it is not that complex. This is just like sexual harassment, racial discrimination, or hostile work environment issues at work sites and yes it still goes on everywhere. Working in a hostile environment is an EEOC worthy offense and employees can be bring up charges against their employers for infractions. And given the nature of, especially scholarship athletes, with the NCAA, it is the NCAA's obligation to provide a "safe work environment" for the students. The NCAA is there to help protect the students, it is not there only to protect the institutions as previously stated. The NCAA absolutely should have policies and procedures to deal with racial discrimination with disciplinary actions including up to termination. At this point the athletes have lost all confidence of their coaches and UCLA should clean house and start over. This season is lost at this point. And yes, athletes do get a say in who is coaching them.

As far as singing songs with inappropriate words, even my high school daughter knows that when a bad word comes up in a song, especially a racial slur, you just skip that word and move on with the rest of the song and maybe the best policy would be just to not sing that song if the words could offend someone on your team. I agree with the comments from above that I wish artists would stop using that language, but everyone at this point understands that some words are just not for everyone to say. To use the excuse that "I was just brought up that way" is just that, an excuse. Everyone knows better at this point, and it sounds like teammates gave her a pass the first couple of times, but nothing changed.

The bottom line is that this is about leadership and clearly the coaching staff and the athletic administration has none. You have to listen to your athletes, and yes they need to listen to both sides of the story, but then you need to take action to remedy the situation. It is pretty clear by UCLA's poor performance so far this season that there is something very wrong with the team, I have been wondering what was happening and now I know. How can any of the athletes perform at all? Personally, I would just cancel the next several meets until new coaching staff can be hired and get everyone's head back in the game before someone gets seriously hurt. And the NCAA needs to take action also and create procedures to deal with racial discrimination because unfortunately I am sure this kind of thing goes on with other colleges and other sports. They don't even have to reinvent the wheel, many employers have policies and procedures to deal with discrimination and there is lots of training out there that if effective not performative. I hope that the athletes can get a season this year. They have all worked too hard and long to have to deal with this too.
 

cmg

Proud Parent
Jul 2, 2018
156
63
Sounds like LSU made a good attempt to get both sides of the story, but I don't think LSU coaches are really understanding the implications of the interview with Fraizer and Wright. The ball is in AJ's court now. If issues also arise at LSU than she did not learn. She needed a new team and UCLA needs to heal. I hope that UCLA can create a positive environment for all the remaining gymnasts, but I think that is going to take a while.
 

gym_dad32608

Proud Parent
Aug 7, 2018
402
54
LSU did what they would be expected to do in this situation in regards to vetting AJ. Nonetheless, it is going to be a distraction for the team.
 

cmg

Proud Parent
Jul 2, 2018
156
63
So I watched the U of A vs. UCLA gymnastics meet yesterday. Neither Frazier or Wright competed. Perhaps they were injured? The announcer, a former UCLA gymnast, said that Flatley and Frazier were roommates. The commentary danced around all the "issues" that were happening on the team, but they did not come right out and say what the issues were, not that you would expect PAC 12 networks to discuss racial discrimination issues on national tv, but wouldn't that have been something to bring what was going on the national spot light?
 

NutterButter

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Jan 24, 2013
898
Sekai competed floor exhibition yesterday and rocked it. I thought it scored a 9.8 something. The routine is on twitter if you search it. Awesome routine. I'm so excited for her on floor this season!
 
  • Like
Reactions: JBS

cmg

Proud Parent
Jul 2, 2018
156
63
Sekai competed floor exhibition yesterday and rocked it. I thought it scored a 9.8 something. The routine is on twitter if you search it. Awesome routine. I'm so excited for her on floor this season!
thanks for sharing, they did not show that on TV, too bad I would have liked to have seen that. I thought I saw Fraizer in a boot what a bummer to get an injury senior year. The team did look like perhaps they were starting to come together a little. I am sure the transfer took a big weight off everyone's shoulders.
 
  • Like
Reactions: NutterButter

cmg

Proud Parent
Jul 2, 2018
156
63
Michigan Gymnastics tweeted out this video about microaggressions over the weekend. In it Michigan and Michigan State gymnasts talk about their experiences with racism.


Thanks for sharing, what I get out of watching this is that the UCLA administration and coaching staff did not listen and try to understand. At least that is my interpretation. I am glad the gymnasts from Michigan (both schools) were honest and direct in their language and that they were given an opportunity to speak out publicly. We all need to learn and do better.
 

rjb123

Proud Parent
Aug 17, 2013
895
I have one question: was the song playing in the gym? Or was she just singing the song without it on in the background? Because if it was on in the gym it should NEVER be allowed to be played there. Or ANY music that uses language that tears others down. (N word, C word, B word etc) I don't toerate that kind of language at all. I find it disgusting. I also find the use of the "c" word and the "b" word unacceptable. She should have apologized and shown humility and a willingness to learn and shown compassion to her team. I am not familiar with her as a person or gymnast really, but it may very well be the environment in which she was raised. That does not make it acceptable behavior and it is further unacceptable that she did not apologize and attempt to rectify the behavior and learn from the incident.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TumbleTimes4

txgymfan

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Fan
Sep 4, 2008
3,561
Houston
I have one question: was the song playing in the gym? Or was she just singing the song without it on in the background? Because if it was on in the gym it should NEVER be allowed to be played there. Or ANY music that uses language that tears others down. (N word, C word, B word etc) I don't toerate that kind of language at all. I find it disgusting. I also find the use of the "c" word and the "b" word unacceptable. She should have apologized and shown humility and a willingness to learn and shown compassion to her team. I am not familiar with her as a person or gymnast really, but it may very well be the environment in which she was raised. That does not make it acceptable behavior and it is further unacceptable that she did not apologize and attempt to rectify the behavior and learn from the incident.
The song was played in the gym and apparently after gymnasts compared notes there were many more instances of the language being used outside of music. She also made a list ranking the bodies of her teammates and the black athletes were ranked the lowest.

The gymnaverse thread is eye opening.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.