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University Apologizes For ‘Russia’ Chant At Ukrainian Basketball Player

  Colorado State University apologized to a Utah State basketball player from Ukraine after some fans chanted “Russia” at him during a game ...

 Colorado State University apologized to a Utah State basketball player from Ukraine after some fans chanted “Russia” at him during a game Saturday.

The player, Max Shulga, is a guard for Utah State and a native of Kyiv. Russia invaded his home country roughly one year ago in a conflict that continues to this day.

“Following tonight’s basketball game, we became aware that a small group of individuals in our student section chanted ‘Russia’ at a student-athlete from Utah State, who is from the Ukraine,” the Colorado State Rams said in a series of tweets.

“On behalf of Colorado State, we apologize to the student-athlete and Utah State. This is a violation of our steadfast belief in the Mountain West Sportsmanship Policy and University Principles of Community,” the account added. “Every participant, student, and fan should feel welcomed in our venues, and for something like this to have occurred is unacceptable at Colorado State.”

The chants could be heard in a CBS Sports Network broadcast when Shulga steps up to the free throw line near the end of the game, according to a clip posted to social media. Utah State, the visiting team, was leading 83-77 with less than a minute left on the game clock.

Shulga made three out of four shots from the free-throw line in the final minute, according to ESPN. The final score was 88-79.

“I have so much respect for [the Utah State University men’s basketball team] and Max Shulga,” tweeted Colorado State University men’s basketball coach Niko Medved. “We have amazing fans and students but this is not acceptable! My sincere apologies.”

Following these public apologies, Utah State Athletics released a statement on Sunday.

“Utah State University and its athletics department fully supports Max Shulga, and his family, who reside in Ukraine,” the statement said. “The incident that occurred during our men’s basketball game at Colorado State last night was inappropriate and unacceptable. We appreciate the Colorado State administration and basketball staff for not condoning such behavior.”

Both schools are members of the Mountain West Conference.

Conference officials told CNN they are “aware of the situation and are currently reviewing the incident.”

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