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University investigating football players' gay slurs Published: October 3, 2013

University of Mississippi officials are investigating a report from The Daily Mississippian in which a number of Mississippi football players were among an audience that used "borderline hate speech" in verbally harassing student actors during a university theater production of The Laramie Project, according to USA TODAY.

The paper reports a person with knowledge of the incident who was not authorized to speak on behalf of the theater department told USA TODAY Sports the audience Tuesday largely drew from an introductory theater appreciation class, which is a fine arts elective that the university's freshmen can choose. The person attributed much of the reaction to the audience being made up primarily of first-semester freshmen.

The play is based on the murder of Mathew Shepard, a University of Wyoming student who was killed in 1998 due to his sexual orientation, USA TODAY reports.

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