A pair of Utah high school football players were indefinitely suspended after a Snapchat video of them making hateful remarks about LGBTQ people emerged.
Salt Lake City’s FOX affiliate reports that the players from Kearns High School posted a video to Snapchat that featured someone lighting a Pride flag on fire, while someone else can be heard on video saying “all gays die.”
“There’s no place for that in our program at all, and it won’t be tolerated,” Kearns football coach Matt Rickards told FOX 13. “It’s potentially a hate crime, so it sickens me.”
ABC News reports that the district immediately launched an investigation into the video and also referred the matter to local police.
“We are having police take a look at it to ensure that there is no criminal implications,” district spokesperson Ben Horsley told ABC News. “Looking at the video, whether if it was intended as a joke or as a serious and brought threat against LGBTQ individuals, it’s still a reprehensible act. We need to condemn hatred and bigotry wherever we see it.”
District officials are reportedly determining whether punishments ranging from community service to school suspension may be handed out apart from any possible criminal penalties.
“We have one rule in our program, and that is to not embarrass yourself, your family or your team,” Rickards told FOX 13. “That rule was broken. There’s got to be consequences for that.”
This isn’t the first time young athletes have gotten themselves in trouble with social media, and not even the first incident involving Snapchat. However, it’s possible that because of the nature of that particular network — where videos and images are intended to quickly disappear — that students underestimate the risks of such posts.