A Virginia middle school abruptly ended its football season Friday after some players made racially insensitive video.
The video, which was posted on Snapchat, reportedly showed white players from Short Pump Middle School in a Richmond suburb simulating sex acts on their black peers, Richmond’s WWBT-TV reported. The video is also said to have included racially charged language.
The team had three games remaining on its schedule. Players will still meet at practice times, but instead of preparing for upcoming games they will participate in mandatory discussions on racial intolerance, ethics and accountability.
Police said they were also investigating the content of the video.
Frank J. Thornton, president of the Henrico County chapter of the NAACP, said the school took a step in the right direction by forfeiting the remaining football games, but questioned whether the school district is equipped to get to the root of the problem.
“You can’t just sugar-coat,” Thornton told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “You need a group who really knows what they’re doing.”
The Henrico County School Board said in a letter to the community that it is developing steps to prevent future similar incidents and will include parents in that discussion.
Not all of the team’s players were involved in the video, but school board members said the lessons to be learned should be reinforced with the entire team.
“Our hope is to use this very unfortunate event as a meaningful learning opportunity for students moving forward,” the letter said.