Did Pace University Go Too Far In Suspending Football Player Who Wore Confederate Flag?
Look, a lot of crap goes down on Snapchat. Take this, for instance: Tyler Owens, a senior defensive tackle at Pace University, dressed in a Confederate flag outfit and gave what looks like a Ku Klux Klan salute in a photo at some party, and the image leaked.
So Owens was suspended from the team and removed as team captain. Pace President Stephen Friedman even issued a statement:
“The photograph is highly offensive and contrary to the values of diversity, inclusiveness and embracing the ethnic and cultural differences among students, faculty and staff that are deeply held at Pace University,” he wrote in an e-mail, according to the student newspaper, The Pace Chronicle.
The Snapchat photo was apparently being circulated at campus, and African-American students sent it to News 12 Westchester.
Bad: It looks like a page from some kind of a yearbook. Worse: Confederate flag on the wall. Worser: KKK-related salute and caption.
What we've got here is some sort of weird modern social media/old school media hybrid controversy. Isn't the whole idea of Snapchat to look at a photo and then have it disappear into the ether? That's the very essence of modern social media. But someone printed out the photo and circulated it 1980s-style, and submitted it to a TV station, as if this were an episode of Mary Tyler Moore from 1975. Anyway, all hell broke loose.
We need some context here. Where and when was the photo taken? Is Owens a racist? Was the photo a joke? New York Post:
"People are taking a joke out of context. It was just a couple of guys messing around. They saw the [clothing] and jokingly put it on,” said Addison Casey, a teammate of Owens for two years.
I guess the moral here is to not get photographed doing stupid shit, and be discriminate with your wall hangings. And don't play for a team with the nickname "Setters" -- as in, the dog -- and expect the administration to be forgiving of your "Grand Wizard" designation.
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