Tennis player booted for ‘get white women to sleep with brown men’ speech

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A University of Portland tennis player has been kicked off the team after a sexually suggestive, misogynistic speech in which he detailed his collegiate quest to “get white women to sleep with brown men,” according to a report.

Goutham Sundaram, a senior from Portland, was hosting the university’s fifth annual Wally Awards — a year-end sports banquet — on Sunday, when he introduced himself by saying he was going to “open up, get real and make the stage [his] locker room,” according to a column in the university’s student newspaper by Olivia Sanchez, a senior on the Pilots’ rowing team who attended the event.

“Sundaram’s speech detailed his sexual pursuits during the last four years and explicitly stated that his main goal throughout college was not academic or even athletic, but sexual: to get white women to sleep with brown men,” Sanchez wrote.

The “violent, misogynistic” comments prompted her and others — including men’s head basketball coach and former NBA player Terry Porter — to walk out of the event. The university’s president, Rev. Mark Poorman, however, remained seated, Sanchez said.

“Go brown and turn your frown upside down,” Sundaram said repeatedly, according to Sanchez.

Sundaram went on to claim that his teammates had sex more frequently than he did, especially his French counterparts, telling the audience to “Go French and your panties get drenched,” Sanchez recalled. Sundaram also shared how his parents met in India, their subsequent immigration to the United States and how the family’s journey would be worth it if he could “hook up with a white girl,” according to Sanchez’s account.

Sundaram also referenced Gandhi during his remarks, saying the Indian leader “didn’t fast for 20 days so that I could get to America and not sleep with white women,” Sanchez said.

“This night was supposed to be about me,” Sanchez wrote in The Beacon. “About all of us. Instead, it was a ‘locker room’: one that I was excluded from since I couldn’t get the joke. The ‘joke’ was never meant for me. Sundaram’s words were actively marginalizing all the women who have worked hard all year for this.”

As of Tuesday, Sundaram’s name no longer appeared on the team’s online roster. In a statement obtained by the student newspaper, Poorman said he was “appalled” by Sundaram’s “shocking and offensive” comments.

“I apologize to all of you that this occurred,” Poorman said in a statement. “Clearly we have continuing work to do to educate and raise consciousness.”

Sundaram, meanwhile, apologized in an email sent to the university’s athletic program for “taking away from the focus” of the annual sports banquet.

“I would like to address what happened at the Wally’s last night,” Sundaram wrote. “I want to apologize for taking away from the focus of the night. The night is meant to celebrate the excellence of student athletes and I would like to apologize if I made any people uncomfortable.”

A message seeking additional comment from university spokeswoman Beth Sorensen, including whether Sundaram will face discipline from the university, was not immediately returned Tuesday.



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