Photo: Getty Images
  /  10.04.2022

A California high school football team will be sitting this season out after players were caught hosting a mock slave auction. Officials at the Yuba City Unified School District were notified of the disturbing video on Thursday (Sept. 29).

By Friday (Sept. 30), the school’s staff decided to not allow the players to participate in that night’s scheduled football game. Soon, officials chose to extend the ban for the remainder of the season. The mock slave auction was held at River Valley High School in what appears to be a locker room. In the video, several Black students are without clothes and stand only in their underwear as a large group of white students excitedly “bid” on them.

Yesterday (Oct. 3), The Washington Post shared a statement from Superintendent Doreen Osumi. “Reenacting 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,” Osumi said. “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,” she continued.

The varsity team was 0-5 before the incident. Administrators shared that some of the football players may face further punishment in addition to being banned from playing this season. Osumi explained that she’s hoping the situation can serve as an opportunity to create programs to educate students about history.

“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,” the superintendent said of the football player’s actions.

On social media, many believed the lessons should start at home. One person argued that “white kids holding a mock slave auction is a reflection of how they were raised.” Another wrote, “This is the perfect example of parents failing their children. For this to happen today, in this society, is mind-blowing.”

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