Football players wear KKK robes during team-building event at Illinois evangelical college
Football players at an evangelical Christian college in Illinois donned Ku Klux Klan robes for what they described as a parody of the Will Smith-Martin Lawrence movie “Bad Boys II.”
About 20 Wheaton College players, including some who are black, performed the skit Feb. 28 during an off-season team-building activity at the campus gym, reported the Chicago Tribune.
The group wore white KKK-style hoods and robes and carried Confederate flags during the skit, which two coaches watched.
The college president learned of the skit shortly after it was performed and called a 1 a.m. meeting with football team captain Josh Aldrin, who helped organize the performance and took responsibility for the content.
“As a black male, a team captain, and the leader of the group that performed the skit, I should have understood that (the) KKK and Confederate symbols are not funny in any context,” Aldrin said in an email sent to other students. “We hope the campus community will forgive us for our actions.”
The players re-enacted a scene from the 2003 film where the two black lead characters infiltrate a KKK rally, but Aldrin said they should have anticipated that their satirical intentions might be misunderstood.
“We did not fully consider the hurtful meanings these symbols carry and the terrible evil that has been carried out under them,” Aldrin said. “We, as a team, now understand this skit was inappropriate and offensive.”
College President Philip Ryken said Wheaton was “far from perfect,” but he was relieved to learn the skit was intended to “subvert racism, (and) not promote it.”
“Sadly, this is a campus where we have sins to confess and people to forgive every day,” the president said in a statement.
Two assistant football coaches who saw the performance said they had failed to uphold their duties.
A federal judge dismissed Wheaton College’s lawsuit in August against the Obama administration, which claimed the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act violated the school’s religious freedom.
The judge found that the college had filed the suit prematurely and had not suffered any hardship because the provision had not yet gone into effect.
Watch this video report posted online by WGN-TV: