After a student athlete was mocked on social media in a racially charged post, Midland Public Schools in Michigan issued a statement condemning the incident.
Ashton Brooks from H.H. Dow High School is an “outstanding” senior placekicker for the school’s football team.
However, she was recently subjected to mockery and racism, according to New York Daily News justice writer Shaun King, when a white female teenager allegedly posted a photo of herself hugging a person in a gorilla suit and implied, in the caption, that she took a photo with Brooks.
Brooks is African American.
The controversial photo was deleted from Instagram but King shared a screen-grab on his Facebook and Twitter accounts:
3. When a young Black girl is the #1 football kicker in her conference, here's what happens = White girls pose w/ gorillas & call them her. pic.twitter.com/775MeHSoAY— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) October 25, 2016
“MPS is sickened by the social media post and feels awful for Ashton and her family,” the school said in the statement, before clarifying the girl in the said Instagram photo is a former MPS student.
The school also stated while looking into the incident, they found that the unidentified student in the costume was not aware of how the photo was going to be used:
“He was shocked that some people thought that he was complicit in staging the photo. We believe that based on what we have learned, he was unaware of the post being made and specifically did not know about the girl's comments until we addressed it with him.”
The incident comes less than a day after the NAACP said white students at Stone County High School in Wiggins, Mississippi, threw a noose around a black varsity football player in a locker room.