UNC men’s basketball players issue apology for maskless celebration after Duke win


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — Players and managers from the University of North Carolina men’s basketball program have issued an apology after being caught on camera celebrating maskless after the team’s win over Duke.

UNC students rushed Franklin Street after the big win over Duke, despite warnings not to due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is no word on whether any players or team personnel were identified as being in the crowd.

However, a video showed some players and team managers getting together to celebrate the win indoors. A statement from the team says individuals that were not a part of the program were invited to join as well.

“Saturday night, a number of players and managers – not just the ones shown on the video that was seen – got together to celebrate our win at Duke. Our intention was to celebrate privately within our group. Unfortunately, we allowed several friends who are not members of the team to join the gathering,” a statement from unnamed players and team managers said.

Yesterday, UNC’s basketball game versus Miami was postponed after a meeting of personnel from both schools, who mutually concluded the game could not move forward.

UNC has not confirmed whether the postponement was due to Saturday night’s festivities.

“We were inside and not wearing masks, which were mistakes. We apologize for not adhering to the University’s and athletic department’s guidelines and apologize to Coach Williams and his staff for not stepping forward when he first addressed it with us on Sunday. We have worked too hard for eight months doing the right things to make those kinds of mistakes at this point in the season. We are hopeful we will be able to play again soon and wish to remind everyone to stay safe so this pandemic will be over as soon as possible,” the statement continues.

Head coach Roy Williams also spoke on the ordeal:

“I appreciate the players voicing their apology. They made a mistake. They’ve been fantastic for more than eight months in the way they have dealt with the whole situation with the virus. But they realize they did make a mistake, for which they are paying a very significant price,” Williams said.

Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger said more than 100 students in the crowd that rushed Franklin Street have already been identified.

“We thought they were taking it more seriously. Now that this has happened we will be thinking differently. The community is just so upset about this because it’s so disrespectful to the people who are most vulnerable,” said Hemminger.

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