UCLA dismissed track and field and cross country runner Chris Weiland on Monday evening after a video and text message exchange surfaced on social media of him using racist and sexist language, The Los Angeles Times reported.
The decision was announced on the team’s Twitter account with a statement from head coach Avery Anderson.
Anderson said he had suspended Weiland months ago, but didn’t specify why. Anderson said that Weiland was reinstated to the team in January, but “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,” Anderson said in the statement.
Weiland’s alleged remarks were posted on the Instagram account @ucla_is_racist on Sunday. A screenshot of a text message allegedly sent from Weiland used racist and sexist language. There was also a video more than four minutes long of a man reported to be Weiland talking to a woman about a girl kissing another man, which included racist, homophobic and sexist language. The Times identified “multiple people close to the program” that confirmed the person in the video was Weiland and said attempts to contact him for comment were unsuccessful.
“When she said she didn’t want to get back together, why do you think? It’s cause she wants to be with this (expletive) (expletive) who has no future. She’s going to be with a stupid (expletive) who’s going to be in community college his whole life,” the man in the video said. “He probably lives in the (expletive) ghetto.”
At the end of the video, the man can be seen with a UCLA sweatshirt.
The alleged incidents occurred prior to Weiland enrolling at UCLA in the fall of 2019, according to the Times report.
Weiland had participated in the cross country team’s most recent event on Saturday at the Dave Murray Invitational in Tucson, Arizona.
UCLA’s Black Student-Athlete Alliance condemned the university for not dismissing Weiland earlier in a statement shared on Instagram on Sunday.
“As a university that champions itself on the accomplishments of its Black athletes that have broken 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,” the statement said. “We at BSAA refuse to accept the actions of that athlete, as well as the lack of action to address the issue by coaches, staff, and administration.”