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Homophobic taunting at college basketball game sparks investigation

Monmouth University's president said he "is working swiftly to gather additional details and to directly address the behavior with those involved."

The president of Monmouth University in New Jersey has launched an investigation after homophobic taunts were directed from the stands at a basketball player from a visiting team.

During a men's basketball game at the West Long Branch campus on Friday night, at least one person in a student section held a large sign that read: "Stick to Grindr."

Grindr bills itself as "the world's largest social networking app for gay, bi, trans, and queer people."

Other students in that section of the arena held up signs displaying an image of a Siena College player's profile on the dating app Tinder, according to The Asbury Park Press, which first reported the incident.

Monmouth University President Patrick Leahy said in a statement Saturday that he was made aware of "highly offensive actions" by several students directed at opposing players.

"Please be assured that we are working swiftly to gather additional details and to directly address the behavior with those involved," the statement said. "We value every member of our campus community. Strong and inclusive communities are built on a bond of trust. When that bond is broken, we take it very seriously. Discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated on this campus."

Lisa Witkowski, a spokeswoman for Siena College, a few miles outside Albany, New York, said the college was waiting to hear the findings of the Monmouth inquiry.

The incident occurred two days after a Gay Pride Night was held at a Monmouth University men's basketball game. The event was organized by the captain of the university's women's tennis team, Caroline Mattise, who is gay.

In late February, Alyssa Wruble, the only girl on the Northampton Area High School varsity ice hockey team in Pennsylvania, was playing in a championship playoff game when fans of the opposing team taunted her with chants referring to her as a "dude" and a handmade sign prompting her to "reveal" her gender.