Several members of the University of Mississippi football team have interrupted a theatre production of a play about murdered Wyoming teenager Matthew Shepard, shouting homophobic slurs during the play.

University newspaper the Daily Mississippian reported that players from the team interrupted the theatre department’s production of The Laramie Project, which is about Matthew Shepard, who was murdered in Wyoming in 1998.

According to the report, cast members struggled to finish the play, as other audience members joined in with the football team’s anti-gay slurs.

The play’s director Rory Ledbetter said: “The football players were certainly not the only audience members that were being offensive last night… But they were definitely the ones who seemed to initiate others in the audience to say things, too. It seemed like they didn’t know that they were representing the university when they were doing these things.”

University of Mississippi Dean Sparky Reardon has said the school will investigate the incident.

The school’s football coach Hugh Freeze addressed the incident, taking to Twitter to say that the team was working with all departments in investigating the incident.