HENRICO, Va. – Almost a week after a racist song played over the public address system before Glen Allen High School’s homecoming football game, the student responsible came forward with an explanation and apology.
Thousands were shocked and angered by the song, which made derogatory statements toward African-Americans and featured the N-word; many heard it live and even more saw video clips later shared on social media.
At the Henrico County School Board meeting Thursday night, the high school student addressed the room with his apology and explanation:
At this time I would like to sincerely apologize for the incident that occurred this past Friday before our football game. I am deeply sorry to those whom I have offended and especially the John Marshall community. It was never my intention to hurt or offend anyone and I would also like to take this time to explain the situation. My teammates and I decided to create a playlist on Thursday night. I downloaded each song individually from YouTube and without listening to them put them on the list. One of the songs I downloaded was under a fake title and was actually just a prank by a YouTuber. While I thought I was downloading a Kanye West song, I was actually downloading that terrible song that played on Friday. In no way am I making excuses for my actions, I have humbly accepted my punishment and have definitely learned from my mistakes. Thank You.
"No human being should ever listen to a song like that," Glen Allen Principal Dr. Gwen Miller said at the meeting.
Earlier in the week, Miller reached out to John Marshall High School Principal Dr. William Royal.
“Please know this unfortunate incident does not reflect the broader Glen Allen High School community,” wrote Miller, shortly after the event. “We are a diverse and inclusive community and are appalled that the instigator of this event has sent a message contrary to our beliefs and practices.”
Editor's note: While the school system named the student involved in the incident, we are not including his name because it's unclear if he is a minor.