Florida A&M University has suspended football-related activities after a rapper filmed a music video inside the team’s locker room without the school’s authorization. The video for “Send a Blitz” by Real Boston Richey featured several shots filmed inside the locker room. He wore official FAMU apparel, including the school’s green and orange color and its signature rattlesnake logo.
“The video contained graphic language that is not consistent with Florida A&M’s core values, principles and beliefs and an internal investigation is underway to determine who authorized the use of not only the athletic facility at Galimore-Powell, but also licensed apparel that potentially violates university branding and licensing agreements,” Willie R. Simmons, FAMU’s head football coach, said in a statement.
Simmons added that although he is a proponent of free speech and musical expression, the football team “has a responsibility to protect the University’s image.”
Real Boston Richey’s music video has garnered nearly 400,000 views on YouTube since its release over the weekend. The rapper performed at FAMU’s 2022 homecoming celebration, according to The Associated Press.
FAMU and the athletic department are investigating whether anyone authorized school facilities and if any of the football players were involved, director of communications Josh Padilla said, according to The Washington Post. He added that only athletes, coaches and trainers have access to the facility, and filming would require approval from the university.
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A team meeting is scheduled this Monday to discuss the video, according to The Tallahassee Democrat. Team members, including quarterback Jeremy Moussa and defensive back Javan Morgan, will attend the Southwestern Athletic Conference Football Media Day in Alabama on Tuesday as originally scheduled.
“We are trying to talk to the right people to do everything not only to cover ourselves, but the young man (rapper Real Boston Richey) in the video,” Simmons told the news outlet.
He also said the players’ involvement in the video doesn’t violate NCAA rules, and the university’s apparel agreement with Nike has not been breached.
Simmons added that discussing potential fallout is “too premature” until “we have a better understanding” of the situation. He is unsure when football training will resume.