A Message from President McConnell, Athletics Director Joe Parker, & Head Football Coach Steve Addazio
June 12, 2020
Dear CSU Community,
Last night in the course of performing duties associated with his summer job in Loveland, a CSU football student-athlete was threatened with a gun, forced to the ground, and held there—along with his co-worker—against his will. The perpetrator called the police to the scene; when they arrived, they quickly evaluated the situation and arrested the perpetrator.
Our student is a young man of color, while the perpetrator is white. Regardless of what investigators learn or reasons the perpetrator gives, we know this: Our student got up Thursday morning, worked out with his team, then showered, dressed, and went to work. Hours later, he was facing a stranger with a gun and hearing police sirens that had been inexplicably called on him. Given what we have seen happening in cities across this county, we know all too well that this encounter could have proceeded very differently.
Our students are all precious to us. This young man is precious to us, contributing to our campus community in many ways: as an athlete, as a leader, and as a thoughtful student. He is also precious to his family, to his friends and teammates, and to the many, many people out there in this world whose lives he has not yet touched but someday will. He is too precious to lose to hate and ignorance, as are all the people of color who bring their talents, their voices, their anger and anguish and hope and determination to CSU.
We have been in touch with this student and his family and can reassure our community that both the student and his co-worker are physically unharmed and safe. Mentally and emotionally, the student and his family are drawing on tremendous reserves of resilience, but nonetheless recognize that this was a horrific experience. CSU Athletics, the Division of Student Affairs, and the Office of the President are working together to ensure that the student has all the resources he needs, both now and in the months to come.
As a university and as a community, CSU is avowedly anti-racist and anti-violence. We are appalled at this expression of violence and hate visited upon one of our students. We condemn racism in all its forms and expressions and are working to build an equitable, anti-racist community that can be a model for others.
Joyce McConnell, President
Joe Parker, Athletics Director
Steve Addazio, Football Head Coach