Arizona State recently encouraged fans attending a September 25 clash with UCLA to “blackout” Tempe’s Sun Devil Stadium by donning black tees and a number home fans turned up in blackface to boot, at no small embarrassment to the school. On Thursday, ASU stopped short of banning such displays, as the Arizona Republic’s Dianna M. Náñez reports :
After initially delaying action on the most-recent incident, the Athletic Department posted a statement Tuesday on ASU’s website that said: “As an inclusive and forward-thinking university, it is important for us to foster an environment in which everyone feels safe and accepted. Therefore, we discourage the use of face paint at any event, whether the theme is black, maroon, gold or white, and ask our fans to show their Sun Devil Pride in other ways.”
It was unclear Wednesday whether fans showing up at ASU athletic events in face paint would be asked to remove it or be barred entry.
Kevin Galvin, an ASU spokesman, told The Republic that the university had no comment beyond its statements.
A handful of students who wore black face paint when the Sun Devils hosted UCLA said they did so to support ASU.
“I’m trying to help clear up that this is not blackface,” Tim Schodt said. “This is taking face paint and putting it on your face. This is not a terrible misrepresentation of African-Americans. This is a simple football tradition.”