Black Northwestern players forced into watermelon-eating contests, new hazing lawsuit alleges

One lawsuit also alleges the former Northwestern University football player had his Afro cut off by upperclassmen players at the team’s camp in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

SHARE Black Northwestern players forced into watermelon-eating contests, new hazing lawsuit alleges
Northwestern University.

Northwestern University

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Two more former players for Northwestern University’s football team have filed lawsuits against the school, alleging they suffered sexualized hazing and racial discrimination.

The lawsuits allege Black players were forced to participate in watermelon-eating contests.

One lawsuit alleges the player had his Afro cut off by upperclassmen players at the team’s camp in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Like previous lawsuits, it alleges the players were forced to participate in sexualized hazing.

The plaintiffs, both John Does, were on the team from 2004 to 2008, according to the lawsuits filed in Cook County by the firms Hart McLaughlin and Eldridge, and Romanucci and Blandin.

Also Thursday, civil rights attorney Ben Crump filed lawsuits on behalf of two other former Northwestern football players, a John Doe and Tom Carnifax.

Carnifax, a linebacker who was on the Wildcats roster from 2016 to 2019, and other players spoke publicly about the alleged hazing last month.

Former Northwestern football player Tom Carnifax speaks during a press conference addressing widespread hazing accusations at Northwestern University Wednesday, July 19, 2023, in Chicago.

Former Northwestern football player Tom Carnifax spoke at a news conference July 19 about allegations of widespread hazing at Northwestern University.

Erin Hooley/AP

Fourteen lawsuits have now been filed against Northwestern since the hazing scandal broke July 7. That’s when the school released a summary of an internal investigation into allegations of hazing on the football team. The school has since fired head football coach Pat Fitzgerald and head baseball coach Jim Foster.

Earlier this week, the university said it hired former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to review the school’s abuse reporting practices. Her report will be shared publicly when completed, the school said. The university has not shared its initial internal investigation.

The school has said it will implement anti-hazing training, an online reporting tool and will monitor locker rooms.

The Latest
Cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike said Friday that the issue believed to be behind the outage was not a security incident or cyberattack. It said a fix was on the way.
Cheng, who had been diagnosed with a rare illness with symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease, passed away Wednesday at home surrounded by her loved ones, her family wrote on Facebook.
Few people realize what a wide range of career and technical education programs the Chicago Public Schools offers, says guest columnist Lashaunta Moore, who learned broadcast media skills at Percy L. Julian High School in Washington Heights.
Woman loved her late parents but wants to clarify her fuzzy memories of inappropriate touching.
Three researchers analyzed data from a major national survey and found a significant increase in self-reported mental health issues since Roe v. Wade was overturned in 2022, regardless of gender, race and other factors.