By now, the memo that white people dressing in blackface is an offensive and racist practice should have gone around enough times for it to stick to one’s memory. However, a group of soccer players in Spokane, Wash. broke away with using old-fashioned common sense and posed in blackface AND afro wigs in an Instagram photo.
As reported by Q13 Fox, five white players from the Whitworth University women’s soccer squad donned their version of the Jackson 5 getup, complete with the wigs and poorly applied blackface makeup. Whitworth, a Christian university, handed down a mild sentence of suspending the players for one game and its head coach claims they meant nothing offensive by the photo.
More from Q13:
Whitworth University says the players were suspended from a match Wednesday following their actions at an unofficial team event Monday night.
Head coach Jael Hagerott said in a statement that while the players’ “intentions were not malicious, the outcome of their actions was painful for many” in the community. His decision was supported by the university’s administration.
And here’s more from Hagerott’s statement:
“In light of the impact that these actions have had on Whitworth and the greater Spokane community, we feel it is in the best interest of all involved to take this action at this time,” Hagerott said. “While their intentions were not malicious, the outcome of their actions was painful for many in our community. We feel that this punitive response is proportional to their actions.”
Hagerott’s decision to suspend the players for today’s game has been vetted and supported by Whitworth’s administration.
According to reports, the photo featured a line from a Jackson 5 song. But just one game? Is that sending the right message that blackface shouldn’t be tolerated? Sound off in the comments.
See fullsize photo of the offending pic on the flip.