In the days following Georgia football’s most recent victory over Tennessee, there were reports that a UGA baseball player had directed racial slurs towards freshman quarterback Justin Fields during the game.
I’m sure most of you are aware of the situation by now. For those of you who aren’t, it was determined that the now-dismissed player was senior first baseman Adam Sasser. According to multiple reports, Sasser, apparently unhappy with the play of starting quarterback Jake Fromm, repeatedly said “put that (expletive) in the game.”
After quickly gaining traction on social media, (I had no idea what happened until I saw a post on the “Overheard at UGA” Facebook page) an investigation was launched by the UGA Equal Opportunity Office. At around 4:00 on Wednesday afternoon, it was announced that Sasser had been dismissed from the team.
While I’ve yet to see anything about a possible expulsion at this point, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility. In January, a University of Alabama student was expelled after multiple racially charged videos surfaced from her Instagram.
I’m glad UGA dismissed Sasser. There is no excuse for that horrific behavior, and it’s a shame that Fields, or any minority student, still faces racism today.
As for Sasser, he has now apologized on social media. Personally though, an apology is not going to change my opinion on him. With something like this, you’re not sorry you did it; you’re just sorry you got caught and had to face the consequences.
— Adam Sasser (@AdamSasser) October 3, 2018
It’s a privilege to attend the University of Georgia and to represent Georgia athletics. Whether they like it or not, student-athletes are held to a higher standard because of their notoriety and public representation of the university. The ignorance displayed reflects back to the baseball program and university as a whole, and his ignorance makes all of us look bad in the public eye.
From a digital marketing perspective, dismissing Sasser was seemingly the only option. The incident has garnered national media attention from Sports Illustrated and others. For an institution that prides itself on inclusion and diversity, it would’ve been a slap in the face to minority students had Sasser maintained his status on the baseball team. The backlash would’ve been severe and warranted, so although UGA made the right decision, there really wasn’t a decision to make.
No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes, but the problem here is that Sasser’s choice of words were not a “mistake” to him, otherwise he never would’ve said them in the first place. Due to his prowess on the diamond, Sasser will likely get another opportunity to play baseball somewhere else. That opportunity, however, won’t (and shouldn’t) be here.