Former CSUN men’s volleyball player was present at US Capitol insurrection


Ben Schumin/via Flickr

Former CSUN athlete James McMillan played on the men’s volleyball team during the shortened COVID-19 season last spring, according to CSUN Athletics. CSUN also clarified via an Instagram comment that McMillan was not an enrolled student.

Andres Soto and Tiago Barreiro

Editor’s note: The story was updated on Jan. 8 at 6:11 p.m.

The original version of this story reported that McMillan was no longer a CSUN student and had withdrawn on Nov. 25. CSUN said in a statement to the Daily Sundial that their initial Instagram comment provided incorrect information. McMillan is still enrolled at CSUN, however, he is no longer a volleyball player for the university. 

CSUN student James McMillan was present at Freedom Plaza in Washington D.C. as pro-Trump extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday.

Since his defeat in November, President Donald J. Trump has repeatedly spread baseless claims of voter fraud in states such as Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Arizona. His Dec. 19 tweet encouraged his supporters to show up and protest the election results on Wednesday. The pro-Trump extremists clashed with the police and breached the U.S. Capitol, where one woman was killed and others were arrested.

McMillan, who was still listed on the men’s volleyball roster as recently as Thursday morning, shared four videos and a photo of himself at Freedom Plaza to his Instagram stories. McMillan cheered on a group of insurrectionists after they scaled the walls of the U.S. Capitol in one of the videos.

“Storm Congress, baby,” said McMillan in another video, where he can be seen wearing a red Trump beanie.

The Instagram page CSUN Memeology sent the Daily Sundial a screen recording of McMillan’s now-deleted Instagram story, which shows him among a mob of Trump supporters as the mob entered the building.

“We’re in the building now,” McMillan said at the beginning of the video, although he is never shown inside the U.S. Capitol itself. Toward the end of the video, McMillan is talking with someone near him about stepping inside the building and can be heard telling someone, “Come on, don’t be a pussy.”

CSUN’s official Instagram page stated on the post that McMillan is not a current member of the CSUN volleyball program nor an enrolled student. The following day, however, CSUN clarified that while McMillan is no longer on the men’s volleyball team, he remains enrolled as a student.

CSUN also denounced the breach as a whole saying, “Yesterday’s breach of the U.S. Capitol is abhorrent. CSUN is firmly committed to the freedoms expressed in the U.S. Constitution, including the peaceful transfer of power.”

Former teammate Ryan DeWeese responded to the video of McMillan by distancing him from the team and the school, saying that McMillan hasn’t been on the team “for a while.”

“What James did does not represent the way our team operates or what the CSUN Athletics staff stands for,” DeWeese said in an Instagram comment. “This is a separate issue that does not involve CSUN men’s volleyball or CSUN athletics.”

McMillan’s name was removed from the men’s volleyball roster by 9:30 a.m. Thursday. CSUN Athletics claimed he withdrew from the university on Nov. 25, which contradicts the statement CSUN issued on Thursday. It remains unclear when he left the team.

CSUN Athletics refused to comment further, erroneously citing the Family Educational Rights to Privacy Act.

McMillan played in six matches for the Matadors as a freshman in the COVID-shortened 2020 season.

McMillan did not reply to Daily Sundial’s request for comment Thursday.