Internet activists demanded that hate crime charges be brought against the “racist” teammates who allegedly forced a black football player to sit in a locker filled with banana peels. However, investigators later made a revelation that left them all in silence.
Moline High School in Illinois made headlines after activists caught wind of an allegedly racist incident involving a black athlete. In a leaked video, an unnamed teen football player is targeted by his teammates, who have since become the latest villains in the perceived perpetual victimization of minorities.
The video, which appears to have been taken by one of the participants, shows a black teen dressed in his football uniform inside of a locker room. The young man is aggressively urged to sit on a stool inside of a locker decorated with banana peels, which he hesitantly does to the cheers of his classmates. A voice can be heard ordering the young man to sit on “the chair or I’ll break off your knees!” before barking out “Chair!” once more. As he sits, the group can be heard exclaiming “Yes sir!” and “Yeah!”
Immediately, the internet flew into a rage. Activists and woke individuals labeled the incident “racist” and an example of white supremacy. Others called for the school to not only punish the students involved but also force them to undergo something representing racial sensitivity re-education.
While spectators were busy painting the racial narrative, Moline High School notified the police and initiated an investigation over a possible hate crime. However, what detectives quickly uncovered instantly blew holes in the outrage mob’s assertions.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Moline Police Chief Darren Gault announced the investigation determined that the perpetrators are a diverse group “of both different and similar races to the victim.” The Superintendent expounded upon the chief’s findings, stating that all of the students who participated in the event are people “of color” and apparently non-white.
“While it is understood that the context of the behavior plays a vital role, that the students involved were all of color, that they are friends, and admitted to joking around, but it also highlights a greater calling from all of us, adults and students alike, to ensure we as a community and district are doing all we can to coach and guide our youth in a way that encourages respectful and accepting treatment of all in and out of the classroom, on and off the field, and inside and outside of our schools,” Superintendent Dr. Rachel Savage said, according to KWQC.
The results of the investigation were submitted to the Rock Island County State’s Attorney Dora Villareal, who was tasked with determining the “appropriate action” for the juveniles involved.
Further depleting the activists’ narrative, the victim came forward with a surprising and admirable response to the mania over the incident. In an incredibly mature statement, the young man defended the students as “good guys” who have apologized to him. He concluded that he wants everyone to stop demonizing them and for himself to be treated “as a human first, not a victim.”
“I want to make it known that I’m fine. Everyone is worried about me and showing concern for me and I really appreciate it,” the young man wrote in a statement. “Second, can everyone please stop talking about the incident and video? I understand everyone wants justice for me and they want what they think is right to be done, but I already made my feelings known to the police and my friends about how I feel about everything. I love the football team I’m on and they’re good guys. I know that personally. I talked to the people involved individually and they apologized. We had a heartfelt talk about it and I told them how I felt. So please don’t harass, bully, or threaten them at all. Lastly, I want to get my life back together, and my student-athlete life back on track, so if you do ever see me or know who I am, treat me as a human first, not a victim.”
Disturbingly, the young man’s choice to rise above the behavior of his teammates and reject victimhood status was met with animus and abuse from those of his own race. Many comments regarding his statement suggested that he was either a coward or a race traitor. Some even called him racial epithets.
Had the outrage mob simply waited for context behind the video, they may not have formed the same preconceived opinions. On the other hand, facts don’t matter to those whose sole purpose is to push a certain narrative.
The young man has responded with grace and maturity, and he’s asking that the public refrain from demonizing his teammates. Unfortunately, the damage is done, and he and his classmates will be used as props for a certain political and social theory on race relations.