Student Athletes Under Fire For Posting Picture - KMSP-TV

Student Athletes Under Fire For Posting Picture

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PAULSBORO, N.J. -

Just bad taste or something far worse? Local athletes under fire for posting a picture after a big win.

The picture started circulating on social media after a New Jersey wrestling team took a state title.

The photo has now launched a school investigation into the conduct of some student athletes. It has a lot of people disappointed and angry.

We've blurred their faces but the image posted on Instagram weeks ago has since been reposted on social media and is circulating on several websites.

It shows seven Phillipsburg High School wrestlers posing with a practice dummy hanging from the ceiling.

The picture has classmates at Phillipsburg buzzing. Some say it had racial connotations and especially took issue with the pointed hoods on two of the boys.

Phillipsburg Public Schools said they are looking into the incident. In a statement the Paulsboro School Superintendent tells us the photo was "insensitive and foolish to say the least, we're hoping there were no intentional racial overtones."

Students who tell us they know the boys say the picture was intended to celebrate a big team win against an across-state wrestling rival.

"These guys are great people. Great student athletes. Great people in general. And honestly just let it go," Elijah Devore a student at Phillipsburg High School said.

"They didn't mean it to be racist in any way I just think they were playing a joke," Louis Ortiz, a student at Phillipsburg High School said.

Some worry the attention will hurt Phillipsburg's reputation.

"I'm worried that people are going to think that P-Burg is a bunch of racist people and this community this town is not what we're about"

Phillipsburg School Superintendent tells us it's concluded a review of what happened and took actions allowable with district policies, but they have not told us what actions were taken.

Also, The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) issued a statement saying that they are also investigating the incident and will determine if any further actions are needed.

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