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High School Athlete in Racist Video Wants to Move on

Brock Fritz

The Illinois high school football player who was on video being forced to sit in a banana-filled locker wants people to “stop talking about the incident.”

KWQC-TV, an NBC affiliate in Davenport, Iowa, reported that the unidentified Moline High School student released a statement Monday through the Rock Island County State’s Attorney’s Office. The Black student-athlete said he’s fine and that his teammates have apologized.

“I love the football team I’m on and they’re good guys,” the student said in the statement. “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.

“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.”

The Moline Police Department investigated the 11-second video that was shot in the Moline locker room and hit social media Friday. According to The Quad-City Times, it shows a Black player being forced to sit in a locker adorned with banana peels, with a white player threatening him to sit in the locker “or I’ll break both your knees.” When he sits, players cheer.

"Detectives have identified all the athletes who were involved in the incident and the circumstances surrounding the video,” Moline police chief Darren Gault said. "Those involved are fellow high school football teammates. They are also individuals of both different and similar races to the victim. The students directly involved in the video are all friends.

“Regardless of these facts, we all agree that this is a disgusting way to treat a fellow teammate, a fellow human being and most certainly a friend.”

According to the Quad-City Times, Gault said department detectives spent Saturday conducting interviews with Moline football players, coaches and staff members. The information was sent to Rock Island County State’s attorney Dora Villarreal, who said Monday the video has been referred to her office’s juvenile division. The school district, which is conducting its own investigation, was also given an initial summary of the police investigation.

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