A former 76ers dancer said she was subjected to verbal abuse, often presenting race-related provocations, during her tenure in the NBA franchise and sharing videos apparently sent to her by a fellow dancer to support her claim.
Yahne Coleman, who is black, wrote in a detailed Instagram post that her complaints about the work environment around the dance team were ignored by top management.
"[Other dancers] they would move my things to the bathroom so I could get ready for the games, "wrote Coleman." They made fun of my photos in a group chat, talking about my black features and sending me videos threatening my security ".
Thanks @treysongz, @hollywoodunlocked and you amazing people showing me support. I was afraid to disclose this because I was a victim of bullying and racism by my NBA teammates and former 76ers teammates. I went to my trainer Dayna Haftez and the Sixers organization asking for help many times. I sent the video over me being racially profiled, bullied and threatened to my trainer Dayna Haftez, Debbie Alpalucci, Lara Price, senior vice president of business and HR at 76ers, seeking help. Nothing was made. They would move my things to the bathroom for me to prepare for the games. They made fun of my photos in a group chat, talking about my black assets and sending me videos threatening my security. I didn't want them to get away from a dream that I always wanted to fulfill, so I tried as hard as possible to stay strong through it all. I went through this for 3 years. When I auditioned for my fourth year, this group of girls called me the night before on the phone saying "your black ass is not coming back". I still went to the tests and, unfortunately, that was the end of my career at 76ers. It didn't stop there. They started harassing me by calling and leaving hateful racial videos saying they would go to the West Philly ghetto slums and hurt me physically. I am not from the ghetto and have never lived in the ghetto, but as I am black, they decided to say it by laughing and laughing. They walked around asking about me, finding out where I worked and called my job saying things to say goodbye to me. I would hate this group of women who are still working and connected with @sixers @philadelphiaflyers to hurt another talented young black woman. Unfortunately, I let this racial bullying incident by this group of women dissuade me from my dancing career. The women who bullied me racially – Annie Weiss, also known as Annie Fuhrman, her @ mommycanyou @ projectstillhuman pages, Nicole Vernile current captain @ 76ersent, Kerri McDonald current dance trainer @ 76ersent, Danielle Dematteo @philadelphiaflyers Dance coach, Malinda Ruth, Erica Hammel, Val Dematteo, Julie Kaskiw, Lauren Schwer, Krystal Almora tcp Krystal Gregorio @KrystalAlmora, Coach Dayna HafetzAdvertisement
Music artist Trey Songz shared Coleman's post on his own Instagram page, helping her gain widespread attention. The 76ers now say they are investigating Coleman's claims.
"We take this situation very seriously", wrote the 76ers in a statement to NBC Sports Philadelphia. "We intend to investigate this matter immediately and remain committed to promoting a culture of inclusion and equality".
Coleman worked as a dancer for the 76ers for three years. She said she was denied a role with the team entering what would have been her fourth year in office.