Belmont University removes freshman after racist social media post

A Belmont University freshman has been expelled following racist comments made on social media. The alleged post referenced Philadelphia Eagles football players raising their hands during the National Anthem on Monday Night Football, similar to the players in this photo. PHOTO: MGN

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WZTV) .--Belmont University has issued a statement in response to a racist social media post made by a freshman student.

The school first issued a statement on university Facebook page, stating "we reject comments rooted in racism or bigotry. This is not free speech-this is hate speech. The University is investigating and will take immediate action."

*It's important to point out that the student has not been expelled, but instead kicked out of school. The difference is when a student is expelled, that student can't return to school, but when a student is kicked out, the student can appeal the decision.*

Belmont University expanded on the response, issuing the following statement to the media:

"After investigating a racist social media post that surfaced earlier today, we can report that the person involved is no longer a student at Belmont. The University rejects comments rooted in racism or bigotry. As a Christian institution, it is our goal to build a diverse and inclusive community where all members feel accepted, safe and valued.

The social media post in question is believed to be one posted Monday night on Snapchat which used racial slurs aimed at Philadelphia Eagles football players whom raised their fists during the National Anthem.

The Black Student Association at Belmont also released a statement to Fox 17:

“The Black Student Association would like to thank Belmont University for its timely response to the recent incident of hate speech issued by a member of our community. It is reassuring to know that racial violence can not and will not be tolerated on our campus. We appreciate every student and faculty member who immediately took action.
As we move forward in creating a more inclusive environment, we must remember that passivity in moments of prejudice only hinders our progress. In his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”
As we have seen from our administration, the necessary response to racism such as this is a direct and immediate rejection. Not one hidden beyond administrative doors, but one on full display. May we continue to publicly expose the private acts of bigotry. This is neither the first nor the last time we will be faced with such an issue, but it does provide hope for the present and the future. “

Fox 17 reached out to students, to see what they thought about the move by Belmont:

"I don't know where he's from, but coming here and doing something like that at a Christian university of all places is really just surprising and wrong" Talia Stewart, a sophomore at Belmont, said.

"I think more people need to be aware of the racism that's going on, the expelling is good but also be taught about the bigotry that goes on and have some seminar or class that shows racist, homophobic, anything," Samara Solomon, a senior, said.

Another student who didn't want to share their name said, "It's an aggressive thing to say, and that was wrong I agree with that, but being expelled I think is an overreaction."

The post was sent to FOX 17, however the school has not confirmed it is the post in question.

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