Letter: UVA’s Chick-fil-A Ties
Editor’s Note: GayRVA.com received this letter from an alumna from the University of Virginia regarding the school’s involvement in December’s Chick-fil-A Bowl. According to Christopher Patzke, the school has not responded to multiple inquiries from the Serpentine Society, UVA’s LGBT group. The views expressed in this letter do not necessarily reflect those of GayRVA.
Good morning Ms. Sullivan.
I write to express my extreme dismay that you, the Board of Visitors and the Athletic Department have not yet addressed Chick-fil-a’s corporate sponsorship of hate groups and the University’s participation in the Chick-fil-a Bowl. Since Chick-fil-a’s corporate culture directly contravenes the University’s own statements on diversity, I wonder why the University did not opt out of the Bowl, earmark the proceeds for minority groups tradtionally discriminated against, or, at the very least, publicly distance itself from Chick-fil-a’s discrimatory activities. I must admit that I did receive a tremendously condesending note from Carolyn Wood which focused on the University’s monetary gains from playing in the Bowl. Has the University really abbondoned it’s commitment to diversity and respect for all people in this time of economic hardship? How sad if true.
Chick-fil-a’s corporate sponsorship of hate groups has been well documented in the media within the past year including: Marriage & Family Legacy Fund, Fellowship Of Christian Athletes, National Christian Foundation, Focus On The Family, Exodus International and Family Research Council. All of these groups have, to one extent or another, an anti-gay agenda. Some groups going so far as to promote “Praying the gay away.” I, as well as many members of my community, find these agendas extremely offensive and are shocked that the University has not taken greater steps to distance itself from these types of organizations and the corporations who fund them. I continue to wonder if the University would paticipate in a Bowl sponsored by blatent racists, antisemites or misogynists and continue to be silent when contacted by members of those groups discriminated against.
What is also a concern is a note I received from Dan Smith, a Commerce, Class of 2013 student. He writes: “Please be proud that the Cavaliers are playing in a bowl game and the team has succeeded. This is the time for school spirit, not self-righteousness. It is a private business operating in the free market. It can make decisions as it pleases. Sorry my priorities are with Cavalier pride.” This response placing school spirit above human dignity, combined with the University’s own condescending response, indicates to me that the University and its students are losing a sense of respect for all peoples. It is implied that school spirit and money trump equal rights and respect. While Dan is young, impressionable and will learn better values with life experience, I simply do not understand the University’s own failure to act. That is not the type of Univserity I attended. I attended a University with a soul.
Christopher D. Patzke Arch ’99″
Christopher D. Patzke, MLA
Chilk-fil-A — no longer homophobic enough.November 3, 2015
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