Br{ache the Silence launches petition against Pepperdine in support of lesbian basketball players

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Last week we told you about the lawsuit couple Haley Videckis and Layana White filed against Pepperdine University and their basketball coach for discrimination. Since the suit has been filed, there have been supporters on both sides. TMZ reports that “multiple players” from the team think Coach Ryan Weisenberg wasn’t saying anything negative about lesbianism in his speech cited in the lawsuit. Instead, they claim his message was “he doesn’t want off-the-court drama brought on the team.” They also suspect Haley and Layana were suing because “they hadn’t played in any games.”

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But Haley and Layana are also being backed up by a current player (who they’ve asked to remain anonymous) who has written a declaration of oath confirming the Coach’s negative statements on lesbianism. She did so in an interview with Pepperdine’s Title IX coordinator Tabatha Jones, and , according to Haley, “confirmed that title IX was not asking her the ethical questions they should have.” Sadly, this player also faced repercussions for participating in the declaration. 

“Once the coach discovered that she wrote a declaration under oath attesting against him,” Haley said in an email, “she lost her starting spot and he cut her playing time drastically. … Pepperdine has been aware of it yet they still conclude ‘no evidence of discrimination.'”

The declaration details statements the Coach made in a leadership meeting, including:

  • “Lesbianism is not tolerated on this team. It is the reason why teams lose.”
  • “Lesbianism is a big concern in women’s basketball.”
  • “When I was coaching for the L.A. Sparks, two of our players were dating and they broke up in season. This was the reason our team fell apart and lost.”

Haley said it was “devastating” to not be able to play for her school, which she and Layana have since departed.

“We were really looking forward to winning games,” Haley said. “It deeply saddens us that it had to come this far because we were looking forward to playing this season. We are just hoping to receive admission into another university and continue with our lives. We hope to advocate for greater change where it is needed most because we don’t want any athletes or students to ever feel isolated.”

Br{ache the Silence has created a petition on Change.org asking for signatures in support of Haley and Layana, as Pepperdine has said they “conducted an immediate and thorough investigation and found no evidence to support these claims.” The university also say they “look forward to demonstrating the truth in court.” In turn, the petition asks for several things that would benefit not only Haley and Layana, but the future of Pepperdine’s basketball program, and the school’s LGBT students.

  1. In the event the court rules in favor of the Plantiffs, we call for the termination of Ryan Weisenberg and Adi Conlogue to protect the well-being, health and safety of current and future Pepperdine student-athletes
  2. Adopt a University wide non-discrimination policy inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity, similar to Pepperdine School of Law
  3. Adopt a ‘Spirit of Inclusion’ statement, similar to University of Notre Dame, that includes sexual orientation and gender identity
  4. LGBTQ inclusion training for all Pepperdine athletic administrators, coaches and student-athletes by the spring of 2015
  5. Make the NCAA LGBTQ Resource Guide: Champions of Respect available to all Pepperdine athletic staff immediately
  6. Officially recognize Pepperderine’s LGBTQ Student Group, Reach OUT

Sign the petition and support the safety and respect of Haley, Layana and LGBT players at Pepperdine.

 

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