Monday, October 07, 2019
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Prominent Providence College graduate Vincent Marzullo — who is the President of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) in Rhode Island — is raising concerns about the college’s kickoff to the basketball season. He ran for the Rhode Island General Assembly in 2018.
He wrote in a letter to Providence College President Brian Shanley, “On Saturday my wife, Josie, and I attended the Late Night Madness that PC sponsored at The Dunk in downtown Providence. This event was highly publicized to the PC community – encouraging alumni, family, & friends to participate in the planned student hoopla.”
The Late Night Madness event, which featured artist John Legend, was touted by PC as being private — but “open to season ticket holders, students, alumni, and families only.”
“At no time did any of the communications indicate that aspects of the evening program would include foul, explicit, disrespectful, racist language/content,” Marzullo continued. “The ‘A Boogie wit da Hoodie Concert’ portion was extremely offensive & disturbing to my wife, myself and many other individuals. The ‘F’ & ‘N’ words were used repeatedly – it was shocking!”
“The inclusion of this performer (Hoodie) was a terrible mistake. Who was responsible for the due diligence of the performer’s content & language and why did the responsible party advocate for this vulgar performer? If folks from the PC community had known in advance what they would be subject to, many including myself and my wife would have never purchased tickets @ $85/seat,” he concluded.
NAACP’s Vincent: “I Don’t Want to Hear the N-Word. Period.”
NAACP/Providence Chapter President Jim Vincent tells GoLocal, “Vin seems to be reasonable. If he was offended, he probably wasn’t the only one. PC should have known the audience and who they were bringing in.”
“I don’t want to hear [the n-word]. I don’t think it should be used, period. I don’t want to hear it. I don’t think anyone owns it, it’s not a term of endearment. If I’m pointing the finger at a white person [using it], I have to be consistent. I have to point the finger at a black person,” said Vincent.
“I condemn it. Period. I don’t want to say that people don’t have the right to make a living how they want. I just wish people wouldn’t want to use it. But I understand society, and institutional racism. I understand the bigger picture. I just want to be consistent in my stance on it,” added Vincent.
Marzullo pointed to another college incident in his letter to the President.
“In light of the Kansas University ‘Late Night at the Phog’ debacle it seems like some higher education institutions deserve an F for their version of a student/family/alumni gathering – especially in our case since we are a Catholic institution. I can only hope and encourage your pending successor to take a more respectful approach in fostering responsible and family-friendly gatherings for the entire PC community. Should you wish to discuss this matter, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Thank you for your time and attention,” wrote Marzullo.
Kansas athletic director Jeff Long issued an apology on Saturday to “those who were offended” by Snoop Dogg’s performance at “Late Night in the Phog” in Allen Fieldhouse on Friday.
“We apologize for the Snoop Dogg performance at Late Night,” Long said in a statement. “We made it clear to the entertainers’ managers that we expected a clean version of the show. … I take full responsibility for not thoroughly vetting all the details of the performance and offer my personal apology to those who were offended. We strive to create a family atmosphere at Kansas and fell short of that this evening.”
Kansas Coach Bill Self said, “That’s not the direction that anybody at our school would want that to go at all. Regardless of the entertainment that it provided many, it was still not the right way to provide the entertainment.”
Providence College’s Steven Maurano said the College is aware of the letter.
“All I can tell you is we are aware of Mr. Marzullo’s complaint and we are looking into how best to address the issue going forward,” said Maurano.
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