Washington University in St. Louis has suspended indefinitely all activities of its men’s soccer team following allegations that team members made degrading and sexually explicit comments about members of the women's soccer team.
The university says it is conducting an investigation into the allegations, which were brought to the attention of administrators by members of the women's team.
"While the investigation is underway, the university has informed the men’s soccer team that, effective immediately and until further notice, it will be prohibited from participating in team activities of any nature," the school says in a news release. "This is merely a preliminary action; subsequent actions may be taken, depending on the outcome of the investigation."
The allegations leveled by the women’s team refer to degrading and sexually explicit comments being written about them in 2015 by members of the men’s team in an online document, and other inappropriate behavior that perpetuates a culture of disrespect toward women.
“We are saddened and deeply troubled by these allegations and are taking them very seriously,” says Lori S. White, vice chancellor for student affairs. “Let me be clear: There is absolutely no place at Washington University for sexism, discrimination or harassment of any kind. This alleged behavior flies in the face of the university’s core values of community support, diversity and inclusion, and we are firmly committed to conducting a timely and thorough investigation to address this matter.”
Earlier this month, Washington University's women's soccer team defeated Messiah College and won the 2016 NCAA Division III National Championship.