• Brian L. Barefield

Former Sixers dancer subjected to racial slurs and bullying during her time with the team.

There is nothing like having your dream taken away because others are either jealous of your talents or insecure about themselves. That was the case for Yahne Coleman, an African American young lady who fulfilled her dream of making a dance team in the NBA only to have it crushed by racist teammates, coaches and management.

Coleman is a former Philadelphia 76ers dancer who says that she was subjected to race-related taunts and verbal abuse during her tenure with the 76ers. She took to Instagram to express her feelings about being ignored by upper management and to show video evidence of some of her former teammates criticizing her.

“I was scared to release this because I was racially bullied and threatened by my 76ers NBA teammates and former teammates,” Coleman said in the post. “I went to my coach Dayna Haftez and the Sixers organization crying out for help so many times. I sent the video above of me being racially profiled, bullied and threatened to my coach Dayna Haftez, Debbie Alpalucci, Lara Price the 76ers Senior Vice President of Business and HR seeking help. Nothing was done.”

Coleman was on the team for a total of three years and was given the results of her audition of a fourth year over the phone the night before the results came back.

“Your BLACK ass will not be coming back," she was told during the phone call.

The harassment did not stop after she was no longer on the team. Coleman alleges that, after her time with the Sixers ended the dance team members would “harass me by calling and leaving hateful racial videos saying they would come to the slums of West Philly Ghetto and physically harm me.”

The 76ers responded to the allegations in a statement via Noah Levick of NBC Sports Philadelphia:

“Tonight, we were made aware of social media posts involving former dance team members that contained insensitive, offensive and unacceptable remarks, as well as allegations of bullying and racist behavior.

“The videos, which were filmed in 2016, featured derogatory comments from a former dance team member who left the organization in 2013.

“We take this situation very seriously. We intend to investigate this matter immediately and remain committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and equality.”

Annie Weiss, one of the key contributors in the harassment, took to Instagram as well to apologize for her behavior and said she doesn’t even recognize her former self.

The Sixers will need to do a better job in taking allegations that are reported like this more serious in the future. In my opinion, Yahne Coleman did everything you are supposed to do in reporting it to management and her concerns fell on deaf ears.

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