Officials from two universities in Georgia are reportedly investigating allegations of racist harassment against a cheerleader during a recent college football game.
In a Facebook post, Ma’Kyha Sims, a cheerleader for Savanah State University, described what she called "maybe the worst cheer experience ever!" during a recent game between her historically black college and its rival, Georgia Southern University. "My first last away game was bittersweet," Sims explained. "I can sit here and say as long as I've been cheering me and my cheer mates have never experienced racial discrimination until today."
From bottles being thrown at us, to being called all the unholy names! This maybe the worst cheer experience ever ! I'm just so disappointed in the Georgia Southern fans and there cruel racial comments and actions.
According to the Statesboro Herald, a 22 year old GSU student was removed from the September 3 game between the two schools, after throwing a plastic bottle, which struck Sims in the face. He was not arrested.
A representative from Georgia Southern confirmed to the Savannah Morning News that both both schools are looking into the incident, telling the paper, "key administrators from Georgia Southern University and Savannah State University discussed the offensive behavior shown by fans at Saturday’s game. A full investigation is currently underway." I have reached out to both Sims and Georgia Southern for further comment, and will update this story if and when they reply.
Speaking with the student-run George-Anne newspaper, GSU alumnus Vance Taylor was unequivocal in his condemnation of the incident. "I must say that for the first time ever I am ashamed of [GSU's] Eagle Nation," Taylor said. "As a Statesboro native and Georgia Southern alumni, I expect current students to carry themselves with more dignity and respect than they did Saturday."
For her part, Sims seemed shaken, but not defeated by her alleged racist harassment.
"At the end of the day," she wrote on Facebook, "#MyBlackIsBeautiful," adding later, "I Love My HBCU".