Colorado State University has issued an apology after part of its student section chanted a pro-Russia chant at an opposing student-athlete from Ukraine during Saturday night's (February 4) men's basketball game against Utah State.
The school said it "became aware that a small group of individuals in our student section chanted 'Russia' at a student-athlete from Utah State, who is from the Ukraine" in a series of tweet shared late Saturday night.
"On behalf of Colorado State, we apologize to the student-athlete and Utah State," the school said. "This is a violation of our steadfast belief in the Mountain West Sportsmanship Policy and University Principles of Community.
"Every participant, student, and fan should feel welcomed in our venues, and for something like this to have occurred is unacceptable at Colorado State."
Colorado State didn't identify the player by name, however, KSL in Salt Lake reports the incident took place while Utah State junior guard Max Shulga, a native of Kiev, was attempting free throws. KSL had previously reported that Shulga's family still resides in the Ukrainian capital city and that the basketball player draped a flag over himself during his appearance after Russia's invasion of his home country last February.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his country would conduct military operations in Eastern Ukraine during an NBC News translation of a speech addressing the Russian population in Moscow on February 24.
The announcement served as the final action ahead of an attack by Putin and the Russian military -- which the U.S. and European allies to the neighboring Ukraine have attempted to prevent from taking place through diplomatic discussions -- and has resulted in the deaths of thousands of soldiers and civilians, as well as reported incidents of Russian troops committing sexual violence and torture against Ukrainian women and children, according to an investigation conducted by the United Nations.