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Allegedly hateful tweets surprise professor who led report into Saint Mary’s University sex chant

Wayne MacKay, head of a panel formed after a frosh week chant that glorified sexual assault, heads from the podium after he released his report at Saint Mary's University in Halifax on Dec.19, 2013.

Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

A law professor who issued recommendations following a chant that glorified sex with underage girls at Saint Mary's University said Tuesday that he is disappointed after members of the school's football team allegedly sent hateful, racist and sexist tweets.

Wayne MacKay of Dalhousie University said he was surprised to hear of the offensive content contained in the tweets just months after Saint Mary's University drew national attention over the student-led chant.

"Not only was there the sexist and violence against women element to it, which was front and centre in the Saint Mary's study, but also racism, homophobia – a whole range of things," said MacKay in an interview Tuesday.

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"It's particularly disappointing that this would happen … so soon after the media focus on Saint Mary's."

MacKay wrote a report released in December that contained 20 recommendations on cultural changes to prevent sexual violence and inspire respectful behaviour at Saint Mary's University – a report the school endorsed.

The university announced Monday that it suspended six players on the football team for allegedly sending the tweets. A spokesman for Saint Mary's University said the Halifax school may also decide to impose further academic discipline.

The move came after an online publication produced by students at the University of King's College School of Journalism cited a number of tweets from accounts it said belonged to football team members.

Messages from the Facebook account belonging to Keith Langille, whose name and tweet is cited in the UNews article, said he is a former football player for Saint Mary's University who transferred in early September, and that he retweeted a joke that dealt with race and penis size.

"I am very apologetic about my actions and in no way ever meant to offend anybody," said a message to The Canadian Press from his Facebook account. "I am in no way racist towards anybody."

He declined to be interviewed.

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One of the other tweets quoted by UNews said: "to that b**ch that bit me last night. Hope your dead in a ditch. you are scum." Another tweet included an offensive term for gays.

The university did not immediately return a request for comment Tuesday, but in a news release late Monday, the university's academic and research vice-president said the tweets are not consistent with the school's values, calling them "completely inappropriate and unacceptable."

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