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

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

    Surely by posting tweets all over this article is an invasion of privacy? The ‘whistle-blower’ was clearly given access as a ‘friend’ on a platform of social media to an account which was created in jest. This was a private account, and all tweets sent were between whoever was allowed to follow it. Assuming they were offended, to show it to a member of vision (who did not have access) as opposed to ask whoever was in charge of the private account, is spineless and coward-like.

    ‘The views of four of our members by no means represents the views of the club…’ As an outsider it’s evident that these tweets are not the views of 4 people, these were comments made in jest, yes agreed they overstepped the boundaries. But in no way does it reflect on them as people. It was a private account for the eyes of followers with permission and the leaders of the account.

    Could the whistle-blower to have a press conference, and make a statement as to why he went behind the club’s back, to vision.

  2. I thought lad culture was restricted to the York Rugby Team? This is vile and abhorrent. YUSU should be looking to ban the team from BUCS. No joke about rape is funny.

  3. Once again Vision destroys a large part of the ever shrinking Amazon rainforest to bring the students of the University of York a tragically poorly written article. The only good thing to come of this is that now I have my halloween outfit sorted, I think i’ll go as a dictator, someone who stands for the people and then screws them at every available opportunity for their own personal gain. Sound familiar Vision?

  4. does anyone seriously think that anyone at the hockey club would have done this?

    Clearly the work of some idiot probably trying to seem funny with piss-poor attempt at shock humour, or just some twat trying to hurt the reputation of york hockey.

    Its actually obvious. I can’t honestly believe you two “writers” are dense enough to actually believe this to be done by anyone genuinely representing hockey. But then again, you do write for york vision.

    Like seriously? how thick are you guys

  5. Obviously a lot of these tweets are horrendous, but it looks like they’ve been taken very out of context. It was a private account and so probably a joke between some of the members. An unfunny joke, yes, but I don’t believe anyone in hockey actually thinks stabbing black people is a good thing.

    Yes, they should be punished because it’s not the way they should behave at all, but it should be put into a bit of context.

  6. I used to give a shit about things like this before I became Derwent rugby captain. If UYHC are interested in getting me involved to ramp up the floundering social side of the club I can be found on any Wednesday night chain smoking like a bad man in Salvo. Also, my hair.

  7. If someone was offended by the comments made, why whistle-blow to Vision instead of contacting the president of the hockey club or YUSU? This is not to say the comments were acceptable in any form, but Vision is hardly a vehicle for achieving any form of reparation. Vision are supposed to offer support to students, I can hardly see how it is accommodating this role by slamming the Hockey Club. And no, I am not a member of the Hockey Club, or a supporter of any the comments (I find them repulsive) – I just dislike Vision’s approach to matters like this.

  8. To me this is similar to secretly recording Frankie Boyle practicing his new stand up with his manager, and then writing an article saying ‘FRANKIE BOYLE IS RACIST AND A HOMOPHOBE’ because of jokes he has made in a private practice of stand up.

    What I’m saying is 1. This was private and not meant to be shown to the public and 2. You’re taking these tweets with absolutely no context.

    They haven’t even asked anyone involved for a real comment. Poor journalism.

  9. Twitter is not a place for ‘private’ posts. Even if your account is protected the argument is irrelevant. If you accept somebody who requests to follow you and they ‘whistleblow’ then surely is your own fault for accepting them… There is also no ‘context’ where homophobia, sexism and xenophobia are acceptable.

    To the guy who said that the tweets were people impersonating hockey club members (@Dan), you obviously didn’t read the bit where the presidents said they knew which members were behind the account…

  10. As I understand it, the hockey club have taken action against the students concerned. Foa r all those calling for a bucks ban – there are five hockey teams at York – 3 mens and 2 ladies.Which are you proposing to ban. If you wish to punish lots of innocent students for the stupid drunken behaviour of a tiny minority then why not be totally over the top and ban all of the students in the university from using twitter. That way you can make even more people suffer!!! Whilst I in no way condone the behaviour of the four students, I cannot believe that punishing the whole club is either fair or proportionate.

  11. I wish Vision would just fuck off on these sorts of matters. Let the University handle it and stop feeding the sensationalism. Your writers and editors don’t give a shit about what actually happened, they’re just creaming themselves because they managed to get the same story posted in the Sun. When you aspire to that, you know you’re doing something terribly wrong. Anyway, wasn’t a certain York Vision writer attempting to get the Sun banned from campus? Things have certainly changed since she’s been retweeting their tweets regarding the article. Nice one York Vision we all know what they did was distasteful and unfunny, thanks again for helping resolve the matter.

  12. However much I agree that these comments were awful, and it needs to stop, I find it sad that firstly the ‘whistle blower’ went straight to student media, instead of to YUSU or the clubs president to try and get it sorted privately. Secondly, Vision themselves publishing this and shipping it off to national press devalues the degrees of every student at this University and quite frankly gives York an bad name.

    So poor show all round really, everything has been done incorrectly

  13. I say the only way to solve this is to ban the entire club for the duration of this season for mediocre to poor banter. The banter quite simply has to improve. One University rugby league team once got banned for a whole season when someone threw a hollowed out water melon into someone’s face, THIS is banter and as such was an unfair punishment. Therefore, it is only fair that Hockey is banned for the season.

  14. Look at the feedback in the comments Vision, the scoreboard doesn’t lie. Stop attacking the students you are supposed to praise, represent and support – you’re better than that.

    (Now where’s my copy of Nouse gone?)

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. @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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