Florida A&M faced a significant setback last year when 20 players were unable to participate in the football opener. This year, they may face an even bigger challenge as the entire team could be suspended.
The suspension came after rapper Real Boston Richey filmed a music video with explicit lyrics in the team’s locker room without authorization. Head coach Willie Simmons stated that it is too early to discuss the potential consequences until they have a better understanding of how the locker room was used for the video. They are also addressing the legal issues surrounding the video’s release.
The video features several Florida A&M players and Richey wearing Florida A&M apparel and team helmets, which may violate licensing agreements.
In response to the incident, all football-related activities have been suspended until further notice.
Coach Simmons emphasized the importance of protecting the university’s image and stated that the team had not lived up to the standards set for them. He expressed hope that they would learn from this mistake and continue to make the university proud.
“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,” coach Willie Simmons said in a statement. “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 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. We 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.”
Coach Simmons has been in communication with Athletic Director Tiffani Dawn Skyes regarding the incident. It is yet to be determined whether individual players or the entire team will face repercussions.
This is not the first time Florida A&M has encountered trouble before their season opener under Coach Simmons, as last year, 20 players missed a game due to eligibility issues.
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