On Tuesday, the Yale Daily News reported that the Yale basketball program is facing backlash on campus for its show of support for former team captain Jack Montague, who the News reported had withdrawn from the school on Feb. 10. On Thursday, the Yale Daily News further reported that that backlash is escalating.
Before their game against Harvard at Payne Whitney Gym on Senior Night last Friday, members of the team took the court wearing shirts with Montague’s jersey number and nickname, “Gucci,” on the back and “Yale” spelled backwards on the front, which Justin Sears characterized as a show of support for Montague after the game.
“‘Yale’ spelled backwards wasn’t to make a statement. It’s just because Yale is a brand and there was a copyright,” Sears told the News postgame. “It was just convenient, at the last minute. Everyone on the team supported it and wanted to show our support for Jack.”
But Tuesday, the YDN reported posters featuring a picture of the team dressed in the shirts and asking Yale men’s basketball to “stop supporting a rapist” appeared all over campus, including at the entrance of Payne Whitney Gym. The majority of the posters had been taken down by 8 a.m. that same day, most by members of the team, according to the Yale Daily News. Sears said told the News Sunday that Yale athletic director Tom Beckett and coach James Jones did not have “any say” in the shirts, declining to say whether the staff knew about the shirts in advance.
Then Thursday, the YDN reported a second wave of posters appearing on campus: