A group of Wheaton College football players, led by two African-American students, donned Klan robes and hoods and marched with Confederate flags for a team-building exercise, embarrassing the Christian school and distressing the college president.
Twenty student athletes — including several black players — dressed in KKK garb for a parody skit of a Will Smith and Martin Lawrence movie, Bad Boys II. The incident took place on the Wheaton College campus on Saturday, Feb. 28. The students shouted “white power” before two threw off their Klan robes and shouted, “Blue power! Miami PD!” in a nod to the film, according to the Daily Herald.
Wheaton College was founded in 1860 by a staunch abolitionist, pastor Jonathan Blanchard, and the school was a stop on the Underground Railroad. Last year, Forbes ranked the school as one of the nation’s top 100 colleges.
The team captain who led the skit, Josh Aldrin, met with the president, Philip Ryken, and other staff members on Sunday, March 1, at 1 in the morning and explained the skit was intended to undercut racism, not promote it, through parody.
Still, Aldrin admitted he and others, including fellow student Wes Cannonier, erred, according to the school.
“The team captain acknowledged his poor judgment in failing to consider the inherently hurtful meanings these symbols carry, though it was clear the skit was not motivated by racial hostility. The coaches accepted responsibility for their failure to provide appropriate guidance,” the school said in a statement released March 6. “All recognized that, regardless of the group’s intent, the skit was inappropriate, and apologized in an e-mail to the campus community sent out around noon on Sunday. College officials took immediate steps to preserve a copy of footage of the incident.