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Archive for May 11, 2022

May 11, 2022 — A big social media story impacts the lacrosse community and the wider world

For the last week or so, the story which has gone viral on Twitter in the women’s lacrosse community is the video of three uniformed law enforcement officers in Georgia searching the team bus of the Delaware State women’s lacrosse team during a traffic stop 20 days ago.

It is the third time that a lacrosse team or lacrosse players of color have been harassed in the past two years. Last year, a men’s lacrosse game between Emmanuel College and the University of the South was called off because of racist epithets on the part of Sewanee fans, and this year, the Howard women’s lacrosse team was the target of racist taunts by students at Presbyterian College.

Only this time, the harassers were wearing weapons and badges. They searched the bus for drugs and made statements to the players as if they were adjuged to be guilty of breaking the law without proof or probable cause. The team was let go after 45 minutes without charge.

Given the national conversation about police overreach and misconduct, I’m not surprised about the traction this story is getting. At the moment, everyone from the Delaware governor to activists in both Georgia and Delaware, as well as Del State students have been weighing in.

Yesterday, Liberty County Sheriff William Bowman read a six-minute statement defending the stop. Tellingly, he did not take questions from reporters.

“It should not be lost on any of us how thin any day’s line is between customary and extraordinary, between humdrum and exceptional, between safe and victimized,” said Delaware State University president Tony Allen. “This is true for all of us but particularly so for communities of color and the institutions who serve them.”

And it says here that the police officers did not serve its public well on that day.