An incoming freshman student-athlete at Cornell University lost his place on the football team after he appeared in a social media post using a racial slur.
The Cornell Daily Sun student newspaper reports that Nate Panza, a running back from Morristown, N.J., can be heard in the video using the N-word. He then pleads with the person filming, reportedly a high school teammate, not to upload the video.
“Oh wait, you can’t put that one up. You can’t post that. Adam, you can’t post that,” Panza says in the video. The person filming then utters the slur himself, referencing George Floyd, the Black man killed by Minnesota police in May.
The video contains explicit language and a racial slur. It can be viewed here.
As the video made the rounds on social media, picked up by student groups such as the Instagram account @blackatcornell, Panza deleted his social media accounts. A student group at Cornell responded to the video by urging students to contact campus administrators.
Panza apologized for the incident in a statement to the Daily Sun.
“A video was taken of me using a word that is offensive and hurtful,” Panza wrote in the statement. “The word has a long history of cruelty for the black community and is simply wrong. I am heartbroken I have hurt people; those I know and those I do not. I take full responsibility for my actions.
“I do not believe that my language that night aligns with who I have tried to be as a person, the values I live by or the manner in which I have conducted myself as an athlete. My immediate reaction to the video was to reach out to my entire high school community to offer my sincerest apologies.”
The Daily Sun reports that a source close to the football program confirmed that Panza was no longer a part of the team.