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Linda Thomas

Are sports fans' clothing 'blackouts' racist?

UPDATE: Blackouts now back on at OSU

Every weekend college and high school sports teams encourage fans to dress in all one color for games. When the color is black, Oregon State University says, you can't do it because it could be racist.

OSUA sea of orange filled Reser Stadium at the first home game of the year for the Beavers, the first part of their plan to get the crowd excited by dressing in school colors to make a huge visual impact at games.

OSU printed "wear black" and "wear orange" on some football tickets, posters and on the athletic website to coordinate colors.

But the "wear black" days aren't going over well.

"This community is not ready for having a blackout Reser or a wear black day when students don't realize wearing black could be really culturally insensitive," Amelia Harris, president of the Associated Students of OSU says in a statement.

The school does have a history with "blackouts" that didn't go well.

In 2007, during a student campaign called "Blackout Reser," some students wore black face paint and afro wigs.

"Even if I wear black makeup and I don't think its harmful or racist, that doesn't mean someone won't take it very seriously," says Harris.

The OSU athletic department decided to end the promotion after hearing some were upset with the plan.

While this is an OSU issue, the Huskies just had a "blackout" game last weekend against Stanford. My high school's homecoming had Ballard Beaver students wearing all red clothing for half the game, and black for the rest. Is this fan fun or offensive?

By LINDA THOMAS, I've participated in a blackout and thought it was cool

Facebook photo of the last OSU "orange out"

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About Linda
Linda is the morning news anchor and features reporter for KIRO Radio. This is her local news blog, with an emphasis on social media, technology, Northwest companies, education, parenting, and anything else that grabs her attention.

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