A Black football player at an Illinois high school that was captured being threatened to sit in a locker with banana peels says he’s “fine” and wants people to “stop talking about the incident.”
The Moline High School student, who has not been identified, recently said in a statement released through the Rock Island County State’s Attorney’s Office that those football team members involved in the incident have apologized to him, KWQC-TV reported.
“I love the football team I’m on and they’re good guys. I know that personally. I talked to the people involved individually and they apologized. We had a heartfelt talk about it and I told them how I felt. So please don’t harass, bully, or threaten them at all,” the student said Monday in the statement.
The 11-second video shows another player threatening the Black player to sit in the locker “or I’ll break both your knees.”
“Get in the chair or I’ll break your knees,” the boy says, as others shouted, “Yeah!”
Moline Police Chief Darren Gault called the incident a “disturbing racist scene.” He also added that the people involved were teammates “of both different and similar races to the victim.”
Attorney Dora Villarrea urged the public to stop sharing the video on social media and to respect the student’s privacy.
The Black student added in his statement that he appreciates the concern the incident generated but he’s hoping “to get my life back together, and my student-athlete life back on track.” He added that he wants to be treated “as a human first, not a victim.”
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“I want to make it known that I’m fine. Everyone is worried about me and showing concern for me and I really appreciate it. Second, can everyone please stop talking about the incident and video? I understand everyone wants justice for me and they want what they think is right to be done, but I already made my feelings known to the police and my friends about how I feel about everything,” he said in the statement.