Posted on December 16, 2022

Southern Columbia Football Players Banned From Extracurriculars for 1 Year Over Racially Offensive Video

Chris Hopkins, PennLive, December 13, 2022

Southern Columbia has suspended the student-athletes responsible for a racially offensive TikTok video from extracurricular activities for one year, the school district announced in a statement Monday.

The video was posted following Southern Columbia’s win over Westinghouse in the PIAA 2A state championship game. The video appears to show two players on the team bus holding the PIAA 2A title sign banner and laughing. A track plays over it that says “Gotcha (racial slur).”

Westinghouse has a predominantly Black student body.

The PIAA had requested for Southern Columbia to conduct its own investigation into the video, as well as a photo of a pep rally that showed a banner that read “Whip Westinghouse” {snip}


As part of the investigation, the school said it determined that the pep rally signs “were not intended to carry racial connotations.” {snip}


A similar video with the same TikTok sound was posted by some Belle Vernon football players following their win in the PIAA 3A championship. The students involved in that video will face an undisclosed in-school punishment and will meet with a member of the WPIAL Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council, according to Belle Vernon superintendent Ken Williams.

“I honestly don’t believe that there was racial intent there,” Williams told Trib Live. “{snip} There are African-American kids and there are white kids. When you see these kids interacting — kids are kids — I honestly don’t think that group even sees color.”