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Virginia Tech 'apologetic' after video of lacrosse team posted

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Sungfile

Virginia Tech women's lacrosse coach John Sung said last month that members of his team had "no malice" when they sang along to a rap video containing derogatory lyrics. His team is ranked 12th in the nation.

Virginia Tech women’s lacrosse coach John Sung considers it “a teachable moment.”

On a 13-second video that was posted and re-posted on Twitter over the weekend, some white members of Sung’s squad can be heard singing along on a team bus to the lyrics of white rapper Lil Dicky’s song “Freaky Friday.” Players can be heard repeatedly singing along to a version of the n-word.

“This is a teachable moment,” Sung said Monday in a phone interview. “It’s not something that we’re proud of. The team is very apologetic and sorry.

“There’s nobody of any color that should say it. Period. There’s nobody that should say it.”

Sung said earlier Monday in a statement that after a win last Saturday at Elon, a member of the Virginia Tech team posted a video to social media “of the team singing along to a song that included derogatory lyrics.”

“There was no malice involved,” Sung said in the interview. “They just thought that they were singing along to a song.

“They had just won. They’re singing songs. The first couple songs were Disney songs. … They were celebrating and they were dancing and they were excited.

“They’re good kids that made a bad decision.”

Sung is in his second season as the coach of the 17th-ranked Hokies (9-3 overall, 2-0 ACC), who will visit No. 5 North Carolina on Wednesday.

“We’re trying to do what’s right. This isn’t something that we sweep under the rug,” Sung said in the interview. “The team is extremely sorry. They’re trying to make it right. And I know that we’ll never make it right with anybody, but … this is a moment that defines this program but yet a moment that will help this program be better.”

Sung said he became aware of the video Sunday and has met with the team.

“They’ve got to be educated to make better decisions,” Sung said in the interview. “They’ve got to know what’s socially acceptable, and I think they’re learning all those things. It’s a lot on me as the leader. People forget — I’m a minority.”

Sung grew up in Michigan; his parents emigrated to the United States from South Korea.

He said in the statement that members of the Virginia Tech athletic administration also met with the team.

“We are engaged in conversations with the campus community to share our sincere apology,” Sung said in the statement. “We have confidence that the team will learn from this mistake and understand that these actions reflect poorly on our program and do not represent the values of our program or the principles of the university.”

When asked in the interview if there would be any disciplinary action with the players, Sung said “we’re working through everything still.”

“We’ve got to start to fix stuff first,” he said. “We are … as remorseful as we possibly can be.”

A Virginia Tech spokesman declined to make athletic director Whit Babcock or any players available for interviews.

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Mark Berman covers Virginia Tech men’s basketball and many other teams at the university. He also helps cover other colleges, including Radford, VMI, Roanoke, Washington and Lee and Ferrum.

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