FAMU Hazing Homicide Victim Robert Champion Might Have Been Targeted Because He Was Gay

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Hazing in the Florida A&M University Marching Band appears to have run rampant for years, but why was the hazing doled out to drum major Robert Champion so severe that it killed him? An attorney for Champion's family now claims Champion might been targeted for harsher hazing in part because he was gay.

Champion was found dead aboard the band's bus in Orlando shortly after the unit performed at a football halftime game. The autopsy "revealed extensive contusions of his chest, arms, shoulder, and back with extensive hemorrhage." The injuries were so severe that Champion went into shock.

Now CBS reports that Chris Chestnut, an attorney for Champion's family, claims Champion might have been targeted because he was gay:
Some of the students tell Chestnut they were also hazed that night, but none as severely as Champion. They say he was singled out, possibly because he was both a vocal opponent of hazing and a band disciplinarian, and gay.

"It may or may not have been" his sexual orientation which saw him singled out, says Chestnut, allowing only that it is a "possibility."
The revelation opens the door that anyone involved in the hazing could possibly now face additional hate crime charges in addition to charges related to hazing and Champion's homicide.

Chestnut also says students aboard "bus C," the bus Champion rode, were specifically targeted for hazing. Students aboard the bus were told to run from the back of the bus to the front and "pray to God they make it off."

Champion's family has announced plans to sue FAMU and now plans to also file suit against the company that operated the charter bus.

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Anonymous
Anonymous

It seems that in news stories the focus has been more on the gay issue than on another important factor - that apparently he was vocal against hazing.  If indeed he was spoke out against hazing, then one should consider that 1) the victim blaming responses in some blogs are even more inappropriate than they would be anyway; 2) that Champion had both the will and capacity to succeed in something that he wanted not because of the hazing but despite it.  So much for abuse/attachment theories.

GUEST
GUEST

FIRE JULIAN WHITE OR WHATEVER HIS NAME IS...HE ALLOWED IT TO HAPPEN. THIS IS  STUPID. MURDER IS THE FINAL ANSWER!!!!!!

ThanktheMonks
ThanktheMonks

Firing Julian White isn't the solution - he apparently has been advocating anti-hazing practices, but has had no support from the university. 

Hopefully those responsible for Champion's death will be prosecuted.

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