NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – The Yulee High School football team showed solidarity for several teammates, who were suspended after a controversial video spread on social media, before Friday night’s homecoming game.
The clip shows two young, white boys using racial slurs -- one of them is seen wearing a white cloth hood.
“Hold on, you see that?” one of the boys said in the video, pointing straight to the camera. “It’s a n****r.”
According to multiple parents who provided the video to News4Jax, the clip had been sent to a group of Black students at Yulee High School in Nassau County by one of their classmates.
A spokesperson for the Nassau County School District told News4Jax that the student who sent the video via SnapChat, was not one of the two students who appeared in it.
The Nassau County School district confirmed with News4Jax that the video sparked a fight when a few students, including some on the football team, confronted the teen who sent them the video. The district says that students involved in the altercation and their classmate who sent out the clip were suspended.
To show solidarity, the players were planning on kneeling, some wanting to sit out of Friday night’s game. Parents told News4Jax they were told by the school administrators that if they did that, they could not play the rest of the season.
However, the football players did take the field in a way to acknowledge what was going on.
Video obtained by News4Jax showed two players holding white jerseys in the air when the team took the field. It’s the gear of two of their teammates who were suspended.
Parents said they were defending themselves after being bullied and targeted because of their race.
Melissa Ricks said her son and other black students at Yulee High were sent the video showing students racial slurs.
“No one deserves that. It is 2021 and until people start screaming, nothing is going to change,” said Ricks.
She also told News4Jax how she felt when the video was sent to her son.
“Enraged. Enraged. I have never felt rage like this in my life. In my life. To know that this video was sent directly to my kid and half of my babies that are on this football team. Do you know what that feels like?”, she added.
Nassau County Public School Assistant Superintendent Mark Durham released the following statement:
“The district was made aware of a video that was recorded this summer but just recently sent on Snap Chat to several Yulee High School students. The video contained racial slurs and images. It resulted in a physical altercation involving several students. Disciplinary actions consistent with the district’s code of conduct have been given to students involved in the altercation and in sending the Snap Chat video.”Mark Durham, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction
News4Jax deemed the video too offensive to share in its unedited form, but an edited version appears in the videos inside this article from our coverage.
Many parents are not happy with how the situation is being handled, saying the students shown in the video should also be disciplined.
Ricks said the issue is bigger than suspensions and football games, and that the school and community need to take a stand against racism.
While several of the football players did hold up jerseys, they wanted to do more to make sure their voices are heard.
Many of the players felt like they were being silenced.
'I have never felt rage like': Lauren Ricks' son is a football player at Yulee High. She says the team planned on kneeling- some wanted to sit out of tonight's game- to show support. Ricks says players were given an ultimatum- play or forfeit the rest of your season @wjxt4 pic.twitter.com/7kcPPtx6hv— Renee Beninate (@reneebeninate) October 23, 2021