A group of students protested what they feel is an overly lenient response to a blackface incident by University of Tennessee administrators.
Up to 50 students dressed all in black protested during the national anthem during Tennessee’s game against Mississippi State at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville on Tuesday, USA Today reported.
Th protesters left the game shortly after making their statement.
The students were protesting after school administrators decided not to expel students recently seen in a snapchat photo wearing blackface.
The photo came to light last week. It depicted several UT students in blackface with a caption reading, “We for racial equality boys. Bout to get this free college now that I’m black let’s gooooo #blacklivesmatter.” In the photo, two of the students were wearing black skincare masks.
— WBIR Channel 10 (@wbir) March 4, 2019
University officials condemned the photo, but according to Vice Chancellor for Student Life Vince Carilli, school officials would likely not expel any of the students because they were “expressing their First Amendment rights.”
However, officials did call for more “sensitivity training” after the photo was revealed.
Interim Chancellor Wayne Davis released a statement via email saying that the school intended to “ensure the leadership of the university takes the steps necessary to heal our community and rebuild your trust.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.