An Oregon high school football recruit who was at the matchup between the Ducks and BYU when fans in the student section broke out in “f— the Mormons” chants left the game at halftime.
TC Manumaleuna, a Class of 2024 prospect from North Salem who is Polynesian and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, told the Statesman Journal on Sunday he was uncomfortable during the incident.
“Definitely felt uncomfortable because I was with my parents and sisters,” Manumaleuna told the newspaper. “You kind of don’t know what to say or how you feel about it at that time. We left at halftime. My dad said, ‘Let’s get out of here.’”
Manumaleuna has been recruited by Florida State, Louisville and Miami, Florida, in addition to Oregon. According to the Statesman Journal, he received an offer from the Ducks while he was still in high school.
But he said the incident doesn’t change his thinking in regard to the school.
“To be honest, I felt like the people saying ‘F the Mormons’ were dumb, but I didn’t associate it with the Oregon Ducks or the school,” he said. “I’ve always been an Oregon fan, but it’s the first time I’ve seen something like this.”
He said Oregon is still on his shortlist of potential schools he’d play for in 2024, adding that some members of the Ducks coaching staff talked to him and his family about the incident.
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox was among those who blasted Oregon fans for the chant.
WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE
Oregon would apologize for the incident.
“The University of Oregon sincerely apologizes for an offensive and disgraceful chant coming from the student section during yesterday’s game against Brigham Young University,” the school said in a tweet.
“These types of actions go against everything the university stands for, and it goes against the spirit of competition. We can and will do better as a campus community that has no place for hate, bias or bigotry.”