The Colorado State student section was heard chanting “Russia!” toward Utah State’s Max Shulga, who is from Ukraine, during a basketball game on Saturday night.
Shulga was at the free-throw line with 40.9 seconds left in the game when video caught the student section doing the chant, which caught the player’s attention as he looked into the crowd.
Colorado State issued an apology on Sunday.
“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 statement read. “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 Spotsmanship Policy and University Principles of Community. Every participant, student and fan should feel welcomed in our venues, and for something like this to have occurred is unacceptable at Colorado State.”
Shulga is a native of Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, and his family still resides there. Kyiv has been one of the main focal points of the invasion Russia began a year ago.
“I have so much respect for @USUBasketball and Max Shulga,” Colorado State head coach Niko Medved said on Twitter. “We have amazing fans and students but this is not acceptable! My sincere apologies.
Shulga is a junior for the Aggies’ program and the 6-foot-4 guard has started all 24 games Utah State has played this season.
Shulga is putting up 11.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists over 29.5 minutes per game.
In the win over Colorado State, Shulga dropped nine points, including going 3-of-4 from the free-throw line at the end of the game where the incident happened, with three rebounds and six assists.
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