Landon Collins, Crimson Tide athletes respond to racism from Bama student

By Alex Butler  |  Jan. 18, 2018 at 3:02 PM
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Jan. 18 (UPI) -- All-Pro safety Landon Collins and other Alabama-affiliated athletes took to Twitter to respond to racist remarks from a sorority sister formerly enrolled at the school.

Harley Barber, 19, made the comments and posted them to social media on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. She was later expelled from the Tuscaloosa, Ala., campus.

Barber apologized for her profane rant on Wednesday. She made the racist comments in a series of videos posted to a private Instagram account, but they were screen-recorded and sent out on other social platforms.

"... we do not waste water," Barber said in one of the videos, while she ran the water in a bathroom sink. "We don't waste water because of people in Syria. I love how I act like I love black people. Because I [expletive] hate [expletives]. So, that's really interesting, I [expletive] hate [expletive]. But I just saved the [expletive] by shutting that water off.

Barber posted another video, repeating racial slurs.

Collins, who now players for the New York Giants after being drafted out of Alabama, responded to the video Wednesday with a message for the Alpha Phi sorority.

"Alpa Phi, 'Be weary of the company you keep for they are a reflection of who you are or who you want to be.' Harley Barber didn't wake up this morning and decide to spew racist rhetoric for the first time in her life," Collins wrote, using the notes app and posting on Twitter. "Therefore, I believe I speak on behalf of my brothers and myself, when I say, the Bama football team does not need the support, cheers or high fives of anyone who condones this type of intolerant, hateful behavior. #BuiltByBama."

Collins played for the Crimson Tide from 2012 through 2014. Alabama running back Damien Harris -- who is fresh off of a National Championship victory -- also commented on the racist post.

"This girl goes to the same university as me but they say, 'racism is dead.' Unfortunately, this thread says the opposite," Harris tweeted.

Crimson Tide basketball player Braxton Key also commented on the video Wednesday, tweeting on behalf of the team.

"On behalf of the Alabama men's basketball team, we want the UA student body to know that we support and stand by every minority group on campus," Key wrote. "We will continue to use our platform to lift others up and be advocates for people who may feel like they don't have a voice. Roll Tide!"

Men's basketball coach Avery Johnson addressed the comments when he met with the media after Alabama's 76-71 win against Auburn Wednesday at the Coleman Center.

"We have a lot of people in our organization, in our basketball operation and our team that are from a lot of different backgrounds," Johnson said. "Everybody doesn't look like me, but we accept everybody. Wherever they're from. Whatever their skin color is. We accept everybody."

"This university has taken a strong stand on diversity and inclusion and I stand with Dr. [Stuart] Bell and I stand with Greg Byrne with promoting an atmosphere of inclusion and we have some terrific players on our team from great families, whether it's single parent or two parents, it doesn't matter. So, I was really disturbed by that video and I thought you guys needed to know about that."

Bell, the University of Alabama's president, addressed the videos on Wednesday with an official statement.

"In light of the racist and disturbing videos posted by one of our students on social media, I want to express my personal disgust and disappointment," Bell wrote in the statement.

"Like many of you, I find the videos highly offensive and deeply hurtful, not only to our students and our entire University community, but to everyone who viewed them. We hold our students to much higher standards, and we apologize to everyone who has seen the videos and been hurt by this hateful, ignorant and offensive behavior. This is not who we are; it is unacceptable and unwelcome here at UA. These types of incidents affect community members differently. I you have been impacted and would like additional support, please access resources here that are available to you on our campus."

"Over the last year, I have had conversations with many of you who shared your UA experiences with me. You have voiced your pride in the progress we have made, but we still have much work to do. I want to thank all of the students, faculty and staff who met today to have conversations about this event and the steps we can take, individually and collectively, to create a more welcoming and inclusive campus. You have my commitment and the commitment of our leadership team to sustain progress and address directly any issues that arise."

"I know you join me in taking a stand against this and all reprehensible behavior. As members of this community, we are a family and this is our home. Everyone has a right to feel safe and welcome here."

Barber told the New York Post she has received threatening phone calls since making the remarks.

"I feel horrible," she told the Post. "I feel so, so bad and I am so sorry."

"I did something really, really bad," Barber said. "I don't know what to do and I feel horrible. I'm wrong and there's just no excuse for what I did."

Barber is moving back to New Jersey after being kicked out of the school and from her sorority.

Collins also told TMZ Sports he would be open to talking to Barber.

"I would definitely sit down with her," Collins said. "A lot of people need help in this world, and she's one of them. She needs to know that every person is not that way, every race is not that way. Everybody has their own common means and stuff like that."

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