Florida A&M University coach Willie Simmons may support free speech, but he will not tolerate disrespect.
Simmons announced Friday evening all football activities have been suspended indefinitely after a rapper shot an unauthorized music video in the football program’s locker room.
Simmons said the video was “shot by a prominent rapper” and that it “contained graphic language that is not consistent with Florida A&M’s core values, principles, and beliefs.”
The decision came after the release of “Send A Blitz,” from local rapper Real Boston Richey.
The statement reads:
“Earlier today, it was brought to my attention that a rap video was shot by a prominent rapper in the football locker room of Galimore-Powell Fieldhouse without proper authorization. The video contained graphic language that is not consistent with Florida A&M’s core values, principles, and beliefs and an internal investigation is underway to determine who authorized the use of not only the athletic facility at Galimore-Powell, but also licensed apparel that potentially violates university branding and licensing agreements. Although I am a proud proponent of free speech and support all forms of musical expressions, this football team (as ambassadors of Florida A&M University) has a responsibility to protect the University’s image. As a result of this unfortunate situation, as head football coach I am effectively suspending all football-related activities until further notice. It is a privilege to wear the Orange and Green and as a football program, our young men have failed to live up to the standard set before us. They will all learn from this mishap and we will continue to work hard every day to become the best version of ourselves and continue to make Rattler Nation proud.”
Tallahassee, Florida, native Jalen Foster, who raps under the name Real Boston Richey, released a video for his song “Send a Blitz” that shows shots of Florida A&M’s locker room and shows people wearing licensed FAMU-branded apparel, football helmets bearing the school logo and pads.
This the second consecutive year that preseason controversy has marred the Rattlers’ football program. Just last year, 25 Florida A&M players were ruled academically ineligible ahead of their season opener against North Carolina.
It is unclear whether the suspension will impact the start of fall training camp.
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