Liberal arts college bombarded with homophobic comments over Pride lacrosse game


College lacrosse team’s social media inundated by haters after making national title game

Tufts’ coach called out the hate it was receiving.


Tricia Crimmins


Tufts University’s men’s lacrosse team is facing an influx of homophobic comments on its social media accounts over playing in its annual Pride game.

But while a Divison III school’s event may not cause a backlash—especially not two months after it happened—the team is in the news after making the NCAA national championship.

Though Pride events in sports are common, they’ve recently become a culture war flashpoint as some professional players have refused to participate in some events surrounding them and right-wing fans have claimed sports have gone “woke.”

For Tufts lacrosse, the fuss seemed to do the university’s announcement of Tufts’ Pride lacrosse games, which the school’s women’s and men’s lacrosse teams played on April 6.

“Today our @TuftsLacrosse and @Tufts_Lacrosse squads will be having their Pride Games for the 2024 season! Good luck to both squads!” @TuftsJumbos tweeted on April 6. “Excited to celebrate our LGBTQIA+ community at our games today!!”

The tweet got a handful of negative comments that accused the Tufts lacrosse teams of getting “political.”

“Please keep politics and religion out of sports,” one X user responded.

Later that day, when the Tuft’s men’s lacrosse team posted on their Instagram account about losing the Pride game, the post received blatantly homophobic comments. Many commenters wrote that the loss was “gay,” seeming to use the word pejoratively, and one asked why—if the team played a Pride game—they wouldn’t also play a game “to celebrate Christianity.”

Pride games are a common practice among professional and college-level sports teams: Since the first Pride game in 2000, the events have attempted to break the stigma that surrounds being both an LGBTQ athlete and fan.

But just because Pride games have a long history doesn’t mean they aren’t an arena for culture wars over the LGBTQ community, which has become a target of the right-wing in the last few years. Last year, the National Hockey League erupted over the league’s official Pride games, with players choosing to sit out of warm-ups to express their opposition to the events.

Now that Tufts’ men’s lacrosse team will be competing in the NCAA championship game next week against Rochester Institute of Technology, the team’s increased visibility stoked homophobic flames. Casey D’Annolfo, the team’s head coach, tweeted screenshots of homophobic comments on one of the team’s recent Instagram posts.

“I am in absolute disgust with the leftist views this program has gone to. The liberal agenda they try to shove down our throats day after day is absolutely ungodly, and we need to stand up as a lacrosse community and do something,” a commenter wrote. “Frick the homos!”

Another commenter used the hashtag #TuftsRuinedLacrosse.

D’Annolfo also said the homophobic comment were “uncalled for.”

“I’m ecstatic that we get to play for another National Championship, but I’m DISGUSTED by the hate speech that continues to spread in the comments on our social media,” D’Annolfo tweeted today. “You want to cheer against us – that’s fine. But to continuously spread hate speech is uncalled for. Grow up.”

He also condemned social media accounts that “continue to stoke the fires of hate, bigotry, homophobia and exclusion on lacrosse sites and anywhere else,” and said he stands with the LGBTQ community.

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