A high school in Yuba City, California canceled the remainder of its football team’s season after players were caught filming a racist prank in which they pretended to “auction” off their fellow Black teammates. But not one single player was expelled for his role in the harmful portrayal of enslaved people.
The jarring video, which went viral last week on TikTok, showed members of River Valley High School’s football team pretending to sell their Black teammates in a fake “slave auction.”
In a statement to CNN, Yuba City Unified School District Superintendent Doreen Osumi called the video “unacceptable” and “deeply offensive.” She also revealed that the students involved in the “unfortunate and extremely distressing incident” were banned from competing for the rest of the football season as they violated the student-athlete code of conduct. Now, the varsity team doesn’t have enough players to compete in upcoming games. As a result, the rest of the season has been canceled.
“Re-enacting a slave sale as a prank tells us that we have a great deal of work to do with our students so they can distinguish between intent and impact,” the superintendent wrote in a statement. “They may have thought this skit was funny, but it is not; it is unacceptable and requires us to look honestly and deeply at issues of systemic racism.”
Some of the students may be penalized for their involvement in the cringeworthy video, according to Osumi’s statement.
“At this time, the District and site administration are working in earnest to identify lessons and programs to help our student body learn from this situation,” she wrote, before adding: “When students find humor in something that is so deeply offensive, it tells me that we have an opportunity to help them expand their mindset to be more aware, thoughtful and considerate of others.”
Several other racist videos have gone viral on TikTok this year
Sadly, TikTok has been a breeding ground for racist pranks and fads over the last few years. In August, some popular content creators on the social media platform received criticism after they participated in the controversial “boyfriend haul trend,” where TikTok users uploaded videos of their significant others and reviewed them like products.
One TikToker named Zareefa Arije (@Zaraaarjie) caught flack for calling her Nigerian boyfriend “purebred” in a video posted to her account. Naturally, Black users took offense to the term because of its close link to racist verbiage used during slave auctions at the height of the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade.
Even worse, after the death of George Floyd in 2020, a few racist white TikTok users flooded the platform with images of themselves kneeling on other people’s necks. The startling trend was dubbed the “George Floyd Challenge.”
Social media is getting out of control.
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