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Colorado State apologizes for 'Russia' chant aimed at Ukrainian Utah State player

Max Shulga during a basketball game. He's wearing the number 11 jersey and has his arms raised slightly over his head. One of his teammates is in foreground with their back to the camera.
Eli Lucero

Colorado State University issued an apology after a small group of its fans was heard chanting “Russia” at an Ukranian player form Utah State University during a basketball game on Saturday.

The player, Max Shulga, was shooting free throws at the game in Fort Collins, CO when TV cameras picked up the chant. Colorado State issued an apology saying the behavior was unacceptable and that they want every participant, student and fan to feel welcomed at their venues.

Utah State Athletics released an official statement on Sunday regarding the incident, and Shulga also provided a statement shared by Utah State Basketball. He thanked Colorado State for the support and said he accepts and appreciates the apology given, as he understands how in the heat of competition people can do and say things they don’t really mean. He expressed the difficulty of having family and loved ones being in constant danger, and said he hoped everyone would join him in praying for peace in Ukraine.

Utah State beat Colorado State 88-79.

Duck is a general reporter and weekend announcer at UPR, and is studying broadcast journalism and disability studies at USU. They grew up in northern Colorado before moving to Logan in 2018, so the Rocky Mountain life is all they know. Free time is generally spent with their dog, Monty, listening to podcasts, reading or wishing they could be outside more.