Over the past couple of days I’ve learned that some of the things yelled at University of Dayton basketball legend Christi Mack and her husband Chris Mack, the Xavier University basketball coach, during last Saturday’s game between the Flyers and Musketeers at UD Arena were far worse than I originally reported.
Yes, just as I wrote, somebody from the UD student section was yelling “Christi Hester is a b——!”
But more than one source in the crowd has told me that as nasty as that was, it was nothing compared to the way the Xavier coach was repeatedly taunted about his wife and explicit sex acts.
Christi was similarly targeted.
I’ve also been told that besides the two former students who were identified as culprits and were finally thrown out of the arena, someone else in the student section may have been involved.
I debated bringing all this up again, but then the past two days I was sent a couple of more messages — anonymous, of course — from so-called “Flyers fans” who disparaged Christi for trying repeatedly to get UD Arena personnel to stop the harassment last Saturday and who criticized me for first writing about the incident in Monday’s newspaper.
The latter I understand. It’s the old “shoot the messenger” mentality, and I know it comes with the territory.
But Christi Mack shouldn’t have to endure this.
It should not have happened the first time and she should not be victimized again now.
Most people understand. I’ve gotten more response on this story than anything — except for my comments on Ray Lewis — that I’ve done in the past year.
Nine out of 10 people agree what happened last Saturday was wrong. The others — and that includes one person from the university who voiced her displeasure at last Monday night’s UD women’s game — don’t seem to understand.
No person should have to listen to what Christi Mack was subjected to last Saturday.
I’ve known Christi — she was then Christi Hester — since she first came to UD out of Louisville some 17 years ago. She became one of the greatest and most-beloved UD women’s basketball players, a proud ambassador of the university after she graduated and will be inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame next year.
She was a tough competitor when she played and had thick skin and I should have known somebody just calling her a “b——!” at a game — wrong as that is in itself — wouldn’t reduce her to tears like it did. Neither would the Red Scare students who kept chanting “FU-XU!”
But I just had no idea someone would stoop to the level that I’ve now been told some guys did. What was said to her and about her is as vulgar as anything you can imagine.
As for all the naysayers, let me put it like this: How would you feel if that was your daughter, your wife, your sister or your mother being subjected to that?
How would you feel if that was being said about you?
Chris and Christi Mack have handled the situation with nothing but class. Publicly, they have said all the right things.
Some key Dayton administrators — including president Dan Curran and athletics director Tim Wabler — have shown class, as have some season ticket holders, UD grads and current students. All have contacted the couple offering apologies, providing further information and most of all giving support.
They should be hearing that from everybody.