Hockey’s Darkest Moment: Outrage as private Twitter account posts vile messages

hockey_front_pageVILE TWEETS by members of the university hockey team can today be exposed by York Vision.

Club presidents Tiarnan and Hermione have apologised after a series of messages posted under a private Twitter account described how a member loved “stabbing black people” and that “rape [was] still sex, it counts.”

One of the tweets, posted on 19 October, read: “I’m going to Hindu hell aka Al-Qaeda.”

And another, posted on the 18 June, said: “Why would you have morales with objects? #women.” (sic)

Another tweet, from the 4 October, describes a student as having “#chinkeye”, to which a follower responds: “he isn’t allowed to join the club.” (sic)

A further tweet goes on to say: “you think your iniatation is over! I may just rape her”

Most of the 581 posts under the @UyhcSocSecs account have the person’s initials who have allegedly said the statement in real life. At the request of the whistle-blower, we have chosen not to publish these.

York Vision understands that the social media account was run by the club’s social secretaries and also members of the society.

It was followed by 80 people after being created in May 2014.

Anaïs Pedica, a postgraduate sociology student, said: “This is a clear example of how ‘lad culture’ fosters sexist, racist and xenophobic attitudes and behaviours and the very reason why it is important for the university and student unions to take this issue seriously.

“This is not to say that all lads are sexist, racist and xenophobic but that those kinds of attitudes thrive in this culture.

“Clearly, these attitudes can have an extremely damaging impact on the various groups of people mentioned.”

Megan Ollerhead, a fourth year English literature student, added: “Those tweets were hurtful, unfunny and unnecessary, and they go a long way to damaging people’s perceptions of team sport at York, which is a shame.

“University sport should be something fun that everybody can take part in without being afraid of comments like that.”

YUSU President Sam Maguire said an urgent investigation into the matter had been launched.

It’s understood that senior university officials met with the students’ union on Monday to discuss the incident after they were alerted by York Vision.

A university spokesman described the messages on the account as “wholly unacceptable”.

“In consultation with the University, YUSU is conducting an investigation with a view to disciplinary action against the individuals responsible and, potentially, the club,” they said.

As of Sunday evening, the account appears to no longer be accessible on social media.

It was set to private, meaning only those users who have had their request approved could see what they were posting.

Among its followers were the official University of York Hockey Club Twitter page.

In a statement, the club’s presidents said they were following the account to make sure it was never “affiliated with the UYHC” or “represented” its views. “We strongly believe that the private account was not created to upset or offend anyone and although on several occasions we asked the private account to tone down the content of their tweets, this has not happened,” they said.

“The statements on this account are wholly unacceptable and the account has been shut down and action will be taken against the responsible parties.

“We want to give our sincerest apologies that this has happened. The views of four of our members by no means represents the views of the club, but as a club we will try our hardest to rectify the situation and move forward together.”

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25 Comments

  1. David Landon Cole
    31 October 2014 - 20:03 GMT

    It’s really disappointing that people are coming on here to defend the Twitter account. I don’t want the university to be tarnished, even slightly, by this ‘banter’. More seriously, though, these seem to be quotes, presumably from social events. The social secretaries seem to think it’s acceptable not just to say and find humour in lines like ‘why would you have morales [sic] with objects’ referring to women, but to then spread them around for others’ enjoyment. I wonder if anyone has previously raised objections. It seems pretty hard to think that a group like that would be a welcoming place for anyone who isn’t willing to go along with casual racism, sexism and the rest. Perhaps that might give one reason why the whistleblower approached York Vision rather than the club or YUSU – they thought they would be told it was just banter.

    I’m guessing that that will largely fall on deaf ears by people who find it amusing and so on, so perhaps they might bear in mind that not only was the LSE rugby club shut down for a year, as I mentioned above, but KPMG pulled out their sponsorship from all of sports at LSE.

  2. Not massively privileged
    31 October 2014 - 20:18 GMT

    1. Tweets are a max of 140 characters. How exactly have they been “taken out of context”? In what context would these tweets be ok?

    2. There’s no such thing as a private Twitter account. If you don’t want what you’re saying to be made public don’t put it on Twitter.

    I’m fed up of York students defending this stuff. Instead of blaming the whistle blower, blame the morons who wrote the tweets. It’s long past time these people were taught they can’t do anything they want without consequences. I hope the University throws the book at them.

  3. confused person
    01 November 2014 - 22:06 GMT

    I am more concerned as to how this article took two people to write? i mean I know they are both a bit simple but still come on guys.

  4. Constantine
    11 November 2014 - 15:09 GMT

    The private Twitter account in my opinion was created to enjoy jokes such as these. In privacy…we reveal our true selves. The four members wouldn’t want to post such if they knew it wouldn’t be met well with most of their members being sure that they are known personally.
    The whistle blower had lost confidence in the president which was why he/she went to York vision. If I know a thing or two about whistleblowers…did anybody expect Edward snowden to meet the CIA boss to explain how America Spied on its citizens? Or even expect him to meet the president? No…he went to the press. It might be that this racism, sexism etc didn’t start on Twitter. But the whistleblower hoped it would end there.

  5. UHCY Old Boy
    13 November 2014 - 16:30 GMT

    @Constantine In my opinion you don’t really know what you are talking about. It might be that you make use of such ridiculous and disproportionate comparisons in your day to day life. But I’m hoping that you’ll run along and stop subjecting the rest of us to it.

    The comparison is ludicrous, the successive club presidents have been excellent for the past few years but they are not to be expected to monitor every member’s online presence. If our whistleblower had been more interested in justice, rather than a sensational story, they would have been able to discuss this freely.

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