Patrons of a YMCA in Valrico were confronted by a racial message on the facility’s marquee Sunday morning.
A photo of the marquee in front of the Campo Family YMCA was sent to News Channel 8. It contains a racial slur instead of a friendly greeting.
“I am asking for help to find out why this racist sign was displayed for residents to see,” wrote the viewer who sent us the photo.
A YMCA representative sent us a statement, saying its employees were saddened by the incident.
According to Lalita Llerena, an employee called the sheriff’s office, which filed a report. Deputies did not come to the facility to investigate given that the incident did not result in any monetary damages, but they promised to increase their patrols in the surrounding area, Llerena said.
She also said security cameras were unable to capture the culprit since none of them faced the marquee.
“The Tampa YMCA is appalled by the horrific act of vandalism that took place on the Campo Family YMCA’s marquee sign. We take such matters seriously and contacted the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the vandalism. We are deeply sorry anyone in the community had to see such vial, offensive language. That’s not what the Y stands for. The Tampa Y values and respects the diversity amongst our members, volunteers, staff and guests and is inclusive through our acceptance of all,” Llerena said in the statement.