The Philadelphia 76ers have launched an investigation into allegations that their former dancer Yahne Coleman experienced bullying and racist behavior from other women on the team.
Coleman, a Black woman, gained national attention for her story after Trey Songz posted the videos to his Instagram. She then posted screenshots alleging that members of the team targeted her because of her features and skin color, bullied her and tried to prevent her from trying out for the team a fourth season.
“I was scared to release this because I was bullied and racially targeted by my 76ers NBA teammates and former teammates,” she wrote on Instagram. “I went to my coach Dayna Hafetz and the Sixers organization crying out for help so many times. I sent the video above of me being racially profiled, bullied and threatened to my coach Dayna Haftez, Lara Price, the 76ers senior vice president of business, and HR seeking help and nothing was done.”
She then detailed what the other women did to her. “They would move my things into the bathroom stall for me to get ready for games,” Coleman continued. “They would make fun of my pictures in a group chat, talking about my Black features and send me videos threatening my safety. When I auditioned for my fourth year, this group of girls called me the night before on the phone saying, ‘Your Black ass will not be coming back.’ I still went to the tryouts and unfortunately that was the end of my 76ers dance team career.”
The video, which was made in 2016, shows former dance captain Annie Weiss chastising Coleman and threatening to, “Find you in whatever project you live in. I will slum it to the west side of Philly just to find your ass, beat the shit out of it and get you blacklisted from whatever club you think you can get into.”
The Sixers released a statement to PhillyVoice saying that they are looking into the matter. “Tonight, we were made aware of social media posts involving former dance team members that contained insensitive, offensive and unacceptable remarks, as well as allegations of bullying and racist behavior,” the statement read.
“The videos, which were filmed in 2016, featured derogatory comments from a former dance team member who left the organization in 2013. We take this situation very seriously. We intend to investigate this matter immediately and remain committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and equality,” the statement concluded.
Check out the video and screenshots Coleman posted below.