Oregon State University is again encouraging fans to wear all black to a pair of upcoming games after pulling the plug over racial concerns (AP image)
The blackouts are back on at Oregon State University football games after the school changed its mind about discouraging fans from wearing all black over racial concerns.

Controversy erupted this week when the school moved to pull the plug on two blackout games for fear they were racially insensitive.

There were complaints from some minority students about a 2007 blackout game that saw some coloring their faces black and wearing black Afro wigs. Anger ensued when the the student newspaper published a picture of those students but refused to subsequently publish an editorial condemning it.

"I'm not sure the university community is ready for it," Amelia Harris, OSU student body president told the Daily Barometer, OSU's student newspaper. "Black Out Reser was the result of a lack of education and cultural sensitivity."

But after widespread outrage over the cancellation, Oregon State president Ed Ray has issued a letter supporting the two planned blackout games.

In it, he calls for fans to "demonstrate the great progress we have made at Oregon State University in the last five years to create a more inclusive community - one that celebrates our differences and shows that together we are attaining excellence through diversity."

The school plans a series of seminars and other events to further promote diversity. Ray says he apologizes for not dealing with the issue sooner to avoid this week's controversy.

"This simple act sends a profound message: that we are united as a community and that those who engage in behavior that is hurtful to others will not deter us from taking this next step in appropriately living our values," Ray writes.

>>Read the full letter from OSU president Ed Ray

Follow Josh Kerns, KIRO Radio Reporter

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