The internet has been outraged since late last week after a video surfaced of a Black high school football player being threatened by his teammates in a viral video.
The school is reportedly in Moline, Illinois.
Though the video was only 9 seconds long, it was tremendously troubling for its viewers.
The videographer and fellow football player filmed his Black teammate still in full uniform and standing in front of an open locker with a sitting stool inside, as well as rotting banana peels hung from the ceiling of the locker.
He and other teammates were trying to convince the Black teammate to sit in the locker beneath the banana peels.
The Black teammate, whose identity has not been made public, looked in the locker and then back at the camera as if he did not want to get in there.
The teammate gave the player an ultimatum:
"[Get in] or I'll break both of your knees."
Heartbreakingly, the teammate soon agreed and was filmed sitting in the locker beneath the peels, looking defeated.
The fellow teammates yelled in response:
You can watch the video here:
The video was posted online last Thursday night and went viral before it was sent to the police for investigation on Friday.
The school also responded by interviewing each member of the team.
They now know the name of the student who sat in the locker, who filmed and posted the video and who else was in the room at the time of the video.
It's been confirmed also that all present were teammates for the football team who had participated in an "away" game. The students claimed they were joking with their teammate in the video.
However, hazing is still hazing.
Moline Police Chief Darren Gault confirmed:
"Regardless of these facts [about the players' relationship], we all agree that this is a disgusting way to treat a fellow teammate, a fellow human being, and most certainly a friend."
"We all agree that regardless if the students viewed this as a joke, it is unacceptable behavior."
"[This was a] disturbing racist scene."
The Moline-Coal Valley School District was in agreement and confirmed they would hold their own investigation.
"The vile behavior depicted in the video does not represent our core values and has no place in our learning community."
"Clearly, we have work to do."
"Decisive action will be taken upon the conclusion of both the law enforcement and the school district's internal investigation."
A student from the district, Monti Miller, expressed his discomfort at seeing the video:
"It's nothing to be joking about."
Another student confirmed:
"They treated him like an animal, and that's not OK."
Even Moline Mayor-elect Sangeetha Rayapati weighed in:
"[The school board has] a responsibility to hold individuals involved in this incident accountable."
"I speak from the heart when I say we have a responsibility to teach them a better way."
"It's awful to know a child was treated that way. It's awful to know that that child will be marked forever by the incident and the disrespect they received."
"And it's awful to know other children would see this as a joke."
Twitter responded in kind:
Twitter seems to be in agreement with all involved in this investigation.
Whether or not the teammates meant their hazing as a "joke," it's still a horribly problematic behavior to perpetuate... especially among people you want to call your "friends."