CFLer says he faced systemic racism at McMaster, school to review Marauder Athletics

McMaster University has announced a review of Black student-athlete experiences following what it described as “concerning accounts of anti-Black racism.”

This comes after Fabion Foote, a defensive lineman with the Toronto Argonauts and a former football player at the university, tweeted Sunday that he’d “experienced a lot of systemic racism during my time at McMaster.” 

Former McMaster University football star Fabion Foote now plays for the Toronto Argonauts after seasons with the Montreal Alouettes. (CFL)

He went on to describe a coach who said he must have sold drugs to afford tuition saying “Keep in mind I never smoked in my life.”

Foote said “McMaster is a trash place with a system in place for us to fail. Whenever we spoke up they tried to silence us by ignoring the issues we faced.”

The review will be carried out by an external advisor, according to a statement from Sean Van Koughnett, McMaster associate vice president and dean of students.

It will “explore to what extent racist beliefs, comments, and behaviours have been present within Marauder Athletics and document the impact that this has had on current and former student-athletes,” the statement reads, noting the process has the “full support” of Shawn Burt, the school’s director of athletics and recreation. 

“The goal of the review is to better understand what Black student-athletes have experienced so that we can take concrete action to strengthen a culture of equity and inclusivity.”

Van Koughnett’s statement referenced former students who took to social media to share their experience over the weekend.

The university said it immediately began looking into the issue and takes allegations of racism and discrimination seriously, asking students to share their concerns.

Van Koughnett said the review is part of a broader effort by McMaster “to address systemic institutional racism in all its forms.”

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