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Washington student section encouraged to taunt Oregon’s Arsalan Kazemi over his Iranian background

Arsalan-Kazemi-OregonCollege students at sporting events are typically not the most politically correct people. Taunting and berating an opponent is all part of the college athletics experience, but there is still a line that should not be crossed. Washington’s student section, known as the Dawg Pack, may have crossed it with its most recent newsletter.

As the Daily Emerald pointed out, the Dawg Pack Dirt is available for Washington students who are attending home games and offers them advice on how to taunt opposing players. By scouring the Twitter accounts and Facebook pages of opposing players and doing some research, the creators of the newsletter try to come up with clever ways to heckle. The edition that was issued before Wednesday’s game against Oregon (PDF here) bordered on racism toward Oregon’s Arsalan Kazemi and his Iranian background.

“The fact is this guy is from Iran, and there is something highly intriguing and terrifying about that,” the newsletter read. “Our best advice would be to not look him directly in the eye. … Ahmadinejad is watching!

“He speaks Persian. Use Google, and explore the Persian language, make him feel at home with some taunts from his native tongue.”

According to The Oregonian’s Adam Jude, a Washington spokesman said he is aware of the things that were printed about Kazemi in the Dawg Pack Dirt and that the students have been addressed.

Just as those Duke fans did recently if they said what we think they said, this crosses the line. We’re not sure if any of the students actually taunted Kazemi over his background during Wednesday night’s game, but the fact that they were encouraged to do so is not right. Making fun of EJ Singler because he is not as good as his older brother Kyle is one thing. Calling someone “terrifying” because of their nationality shouldn’t be tolerated.


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