Liberty player to transfer, cites ‘racial insensitivities’

Sports
Jerry Falwell Jr.

FILE – In this Nov. 28, 2018, file photo, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. speaks before a convocation at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. Nearly three dozen black alumni of Liberty University are denouncing school President Jerry Falwell Jr. on Monday, June 1, 2020, suggesting he step down after he mocked Virginia’s mask-wearing requirement by invoking the blackface scandal that engulfed the state’s governor last year. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) — A women’s basketball player at Liberty University says she is transferring because of “racial insensitivities shown within the leadership and culture” of the school.

Rising sophomore Asia Todd made the announcement in a video posted on Twitter.

Todd, wearing a “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt, praised the coaching staff at Liberty and her teammates, but said the conduct by school leaders do “not align with my moral compass or personal convictions.”

The decision, she added, was “simply bigger than basketball.”

Last season, Todd averaged 8.6 points, playing more than 23 minutes a game.

Earlier this week, Liberty President Jerry Falwell Jr. apologized for a tweet in late May deemed inappropriate by nearly three dozen black alumni who rebuked him publicly.

In the tweet, Falwell said he was “adamantly opposed” to a mask mandate from Gov. Ralph Northam to help stop the spread of the coronavirus “until I decided to design my own.” With it, he posted a picture of a person in blackface and another in the Ku Klux Klan costume. The photo appeared on Northam’s medical yearbook page and — when made public last year — sparked a scandal that nearly forced the Democrat from office.

In his apology on Twitter, Falwell said “I actually refreshed the trauma that image had caused and offended some by using the image to make a political point.”

He said he had deleted the tweet.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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