April 06, 2020

In the midst of this busy season of holidays when we were all busy with cookie dough, wrapping paper, candles, work, religious services for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza celebrations, Advent prayers and parties, I feel compelled to stop everything and write of my sorrow, disappointment and fear brought on by the printed transcript of University of Maine hockey player Bryan Masotta’s message to football player Dwayne Wilmot (BDN, Dec. 23).

During this blessed season of joy and expectation comes this hate-filled, racist, vicious and disgustingly violent message. Reading the transcript made my heart ache, my fists clench and my mind swim from feelings of fear and anger. I can’t begin to understand the horror it must have caused Wilmot when he listened to this filth.

As an alumna of the University of Maine and as the daughter of an alumnus, I had hoped that one of my children would also attend school there. Now, unless the administration comes down hard and acts swiftly, I’m afraid I would not want my children there.

Masotta has admitted he left the message. The other cowards involved have yet to own up to their violent actions. The administration should never allow Masotta back as a student, hockey player or visitor. We should not wait for the Attorney General’s Office to prosecute him to do this. He has admitted guilt already!

Suspending him is too weak a penalty. It shouldn’t take a court conviction to boot him off the team and out of school. Get off the fence and just do it. Send a clear, simple message to all students, faculty, parents and supporters that the university will have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior. Apologies and admitting stupidity after being caught should not exonerate anyone.

I pray Wilmot and his “family” will receive support and comfort from many of Maine’s people. There are good people in this state who do not promote actions such as they have fallen victim to. Lynn Ryan Hampden

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