- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Cornell University football coach has apologized for being culturally insensitive after students complained about a tweet showing players wearing a sombrero.

Big Red’s offensive line coach Roy Istvan sent out a now-deleted tweet, which the university retweeted, celebrating two outstanding players Tuesday morning.

“Eman & Fosta! THE BIG SOMBRERO!” the tweet read with a photo of Alex Emanuels and John Foster wearing the hat.

Students complained that the photo of white football players wearing a Mexican sombrero was “offensive” cultural appropriation, The Cornell Review reported.

MEChA de Cornell, which describes itself as “the official voice of Chicanx students at Cornell University,” posted a screenshot of the tweet on its Facebook page, adding, “Cornell University who manages your twitter page?”

“So many of your fellow students’ culture is being used as a prop consistently on this campus and it is supported publicly by this university,” one commenter wrote. “Will you pass a proposition to recommend a faculty/staff diversity and cultural sensitivity training?”

Matthew Indimine, executive vice president of the school’s Student Assembly, demanded that the “extremely offensive image” be deleted immediately.

Mr. Istvan eventually deleted his tweet, to which one Twitter user responded: “They can’t delete the hurt they caused the Xicanx& Mexican community,” adding, “No formal apology has been released either.”

Mr. Istvan replied directly to the commenter, @kolombrni, explaining that he typically awards the “big hat” to team members “who represent the best teamwork and winning spirit on and off the field.”

“I am truly sorry for the cultural insensitivity and understand how our expression of pride…[c]ame at the expensive of others in the Cornell community,” Mr. Istvan wrote Tuesday evening in two separate tweets, still tagging @kolombrni. She didn’t respond to his apology.

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