According to witnesses, students in the Colorado State fan section at Saturday’s game were heard yelling taunts of “Russia, Russia” at Utah State player Max Shulga, who is from Ukraine.
The taunting reportedly occurred when Shulga was at the free-throw line late in the game. Despite the taunting, the player made three of his four throws, the New York Post reported.
— Colby LeBaron (@clebaron617) February 5, 2023
Colorado State issued a statement on Twitter following the game.
“Following tonight’s basketball game, we became aware that a small group of individuals in our student section chanted ‘Russia’ at a student-athlete from Utah State, who is from the Ukraine. On behalf of Colorado State, we apologize to the student-athlete and Utah State. This is a violation of our steadfast belief in the Mountain West Sportsmanship Policy and University Principles of Community,” the school wrote.
The school concluded with a third tweet saying, “Every participant, student, and fan should feel welcomed in our venues, and for something like this to have occurred is unacceptable at Colorado State.”
On behalf of Colorado State, we apologize to the student-athlete and Utah State. This is a violation of our steadfast belief in the Mountain West Sportsmanship Policy and University Principles of Community.
— Colorado State Rams 🐏 (@CSURams) February 5, 2023
Shulga is from Kyiv, one of Ukraine’s biggest cities, and his family is still there.
The junior player is one of Utah State’s top players, averaging 11.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 4.0 assists in 29.5 minutes per game.
Colorado State coach Niko Medved also apologized to Shulga for the behavior of the fans, saying, “I have so much respect for @USUBasketball and Max Shulga. We have amazing fans and students, but this is not acceptable! My sincere apologies.”
I have so much respect for @USUBasketball and Max Shulga. We have amazing fans and students but this is not acceptable! My sincere apologies. https://t.co/PGPdGmVE7T
— Niko Medved (@coachNikoMedved) February 5, 2023
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