JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Bishop John J. Synder High School baseball team was the 2022 3A District 2 champions. But now, the team is getting attention for a different reason after alleged racist comments have surfaced along with threats on social media against its only African American player.
In a group chat called “Snyder baseball” there were allegedly multiple comments made including: “When’s white history month?” “[explicit] Asians” and “Hate them even more than black people.”
There is a discussion in the group about using the N-word and another discussion about threatening to break the African American player’s elbow.
There’s also a photo of a teen holding what appears to be a rifle.
The African American player’s family posted images of the chat on social media.
“My family has been targeted and it’s one of the most challenging things we’re facing right now,” a post reads. “The threats made on my son and our family have been overwhelming to say the least. I pray everyone remains safe and Bishop Snyder does the right thing, because racism is not a joke. If we don’t stand for something we will fall for anything!”
News4JAX sports reporter and producer Justin Barney received dozens of notifications about the posts on Sunday night.
“I think it was alarming to many of the people who were able to see that post last night. They wanted it looked into,” Barney said.
Barney said if the investigation finds fault, it could impact the team and the players’ future goals.
“So I think that schools are very aware of this, colleges are very aware of situations like this and they don’t want to be associated with that, with an incoming person, so commits on Bishop Snyder or other schools who were in similar situations I think you really have to police yourself and be wary of what you put on social media,” Barney added.
Bishop Synder’s principal Deacon David Yazdia responded to the controversy on Monday.
“We are aware of the picture and the related posts. I am working with JSO now to investigate the matter fully. While the investigation is ongoing, I can’t comment further at this time,” Yazdia said.