Vaksman, who is from Ukraine, had been a coach at St. John’s since 2006 and served as a United States Fencing referee.

The USA Fencing organization said it is “disgusted” by Vaksman’s statements.

Vaksman’s comments are “racist, offensive and have no place in the USA Fencing community or in society as a whole. USA Fencing stands with our black athletes and all underrepresented minorities within the fencing family and will conduct an immediate investigation,” the organization’s statement said.


St. John’s quickly removed Vaksman’s profile from it’s fencing website.

Although fencing is considered a predominantly white sport, St. John’s most recent men’s team includes several people of color, including three black athletes.