University authorities are investigating four Kansas cheerleaders who posted a picture on snapchat with the inscription, ‘KKK Go Trump.’
Four University of Kansas cheerleaders were suspended from their squad after a Snapchat post where their sweaters spelled out “KKK,” Daily News reports.
“Go Trump,” read the post from cheerleader Lili Gagin, which featured three male spirit squad members forming the acronym for the Ku Klux Klan with the K’s for Kansas.
NYDailyNews: POOR SPIRIT: University of Kansas cheerleaders suspended after spelling “KKK” with sweaters … pic.twitter.com/aQNS3Y3D5h
— Amanda Lenon (@LenonAmanda) November 22, 2016
The post was soon spread widely on social media, with users denouncing the picture as “playfully racist.”
The school’s athletic department announced Tuesday that it had suspended three male students from the spirit squad and one female student from the Kansas cheerleaders’ squad, according to Huffington Post. The picture appears to have been posted over the weekend. The university learned about it on Monday, during Kansas’ men’s basketball game against Alabama-Birmingham.
The image was posted to the account of the female cheerleader Lili Gagin, according to the Kansas City Star. It featured three male cheerleaders, each wearing Kansas sweaters bearing the letter “K,” standing next to each other.
Gagin later tweeted that she did not post the image, according to the Star.
“I’m appalled that a snapchat was put out on my snapchat and posted to my account,” she wrote on Twitter. “I would never (have) done that & I apologize that it happened.”
Associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said Monday that KU officials were made aware of Lili Gagin’s social media posting during the men’s basketball team’s 83-63 victory over UAB, The Kansas City Star states. KU Athletics announced that night, referencing a Twitter user who reported the Snapchat photo to the school, that Gagin was suspended from performing, pending an investigation.
The photo depicted three men’s members of the cheer squad, in sweaters, each with a “K” representing “Kansas” on their chests. White letters across the photo read “Kkk go trump.” KU did not release the names of the men in the photo.
On Tuesday, KU Athletics released a statement that read: “The four (one female, three male) individuals referenced in the recent Snapchat incident are suspended from performing and will remain suspended while Kansas Athletics and the University complete their inquiries into this incident.”
University Of Kansas Suspends Four Cheerleaders For “KKK Go Trump” Snapchat Photo https://t.co/VqmiaA0Q1Z via @TasneemN @buzzfeednews
— Hermione (@Eat_Shop_Travel) November 24, 2016
Gagin, who is listed on KU Athletics’ roster page as a sophomore from Grayslake, Ill., could not be reached for comment. On her own Twitter account, she wrote Monday night that she did not post the photo.
News on racism has become so common on our media platforms that it is almost becoming a ‘usual thing’ for us. But we need not get comfortable with the presence of such stories; lest our country is ravaged by racism. The devastating aspect of all this is the key involvement in racial practices by our youth. The case of Kansas cheerleaders isn’t the first and definitely might not be the last. We need stiffer punishments for racial offenses which will deter others from indulging in such abominable practices. A mere suspension and dismissal might not give us the change we desire.