BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Samford University is apologizing after images surface of a sorority t-shirt with an offensive image. The shirt issued by the Kappa chapter of Alpha Delta Pi appears to show an African-American man eating watermelon and also what appears to be slaves picking cotton.
A statement from Samford’s Executive Director of Communications, Philip Poole, says that the university apologizes for the offensive image that appeared on the shirts, calling it completely inconsistent with the university’s mission and values. The release also states that the school denied the shirt design after a review process but the shirts were created anyway.
University President Andy Westmoreland said in an email to students and employees: “I was repulsed by the image.”
Alpha Delta Pi’s national headquarters in Atlanta said in a statement: “The shirt design absolutely contradicts the values of respect and dignity that our organization prides itself on.”
The full statement from Poole can be seen below:
Samford University apologizes for the offensive image that appeared on T-shirts produced by the Kappa chapter of Alpha Delta Pi sorority. This is completely inconsistent with the university’s mission and values. We are addressing the issue with our Alpha Delta Pi chapter and the international organization and with the vendor who produced the shirt. Despite the university’s denial of the project through our normal review and approval process, the shirts were produced anyway. We are following our procedures as quickly as possible to address this violation of Samford’s values community.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.