Hazing of players is nothing new, but lately we've seen many of these "initiations" go horribly wrong, some having deadly consequences. Recently we've also seen many of these incidents taking place at the high school level, where acts of racism have seeped into these foolish demonstrations. This weekend we learned that the practice has now spread to the middle school level, with even more disgusting actions.
According to WTVR 6, a video made by players at Short Pump Middle School in Henrico County, VA, showed white players "simulating sexual acts and taunting black students with racist remarks inside the boys locker room." The incident, which horrified the entire community, is under investigation by Henrico police.
According to TV 6, a parent of one of the players who was not involved in the acts seen on the video told the network that white players were pinning Black players to the floor while pretending to have sex with them while yelling racist comment. Text over the video read "We gonna f**k the black outta these African-American children from Uganda."
Thomas McAuley, principal of Short Pump Middle School, sent an email to parents after the video surfaced, calling it “appalling, disturbing, and inexcusable.”
“I and the administrative team of Short Pump Middle School are handling this matter with the seriousness it deserves,” McAuley wrote. “This includes taking appropriate actions to address what occurred and to prevent it from ever happening again.”
“As a community, I would encourage each family to have conversations with their children about embracing diversity, and what the idea of ‘embracing diversity’ means to them, and what they should do if they experience anything that ‘tears down’ another person. Let’s lift up each other and use this moment to teach and empower our students."
While parents are disgusted, some are disappointed that the innocent are being published due to the actions of a few ignorant, racist students. But where were the other players on the team while this was going on? Where were the coaches or teachers? Why wasn't anyone around to stop this from happening? After seeing the video, there is no question that serious action is needed immediately and the hammer needs to come down hard.
Police in Short Pump, Virginia are investigating a Snapchat video showing local white middle school football players faking sexual assault on African American students while yelling they are 'f*cking the black out of them." According to KSLA, police were alerted to the video that showed the athletes grabbing several black students, forcing them to the ground and faking raping them while yelling slurs.
Andy Jenks, spokesperson for Henrico County Schools, said he couldn't get into specifics about the incident as it is under investigation, but that they will deal with it appropriately.
“The contents of which are offensive and wrong. The school division will take appropriate action in accordance with our normal procedures,” said Jenks. “Beyond that, federal law prohibits school divisions from sharing additional information about students.”
Let's all hope that this goes beyond a simple town hall discussion and the players involved are held accountable for their ignorant, horrific and basically criminal actions. At the end of the day, these are children who were being victimized and subjected to racism, bullying and "race-based simulated sex assaults."