By Dorothy J. Gentry
Florida A&M University president Dr. Larry Robinson is the latest to comment on the growing controversy with the FAMU football team after an unauthorized music video shot on campus resulted in the suspension of its football team.
FAMU was slated to open its 2023 football season September 3 against Jackson State.
“I am aware of the unauthorized music video shot on our campus and I am asking for an immediate investigation to determine how it happened,” Dr. Robinson said in a statement released Saturday afternoon.
“This video does not represent our core values, not our commitment to “Excellence with Caring” in all aspects of the University, including athletics.”
All FAMU football-related activities were suspended indefinitely on Friday Head Coach Willie Simmons announced in a statement on social media.
“Earlier today, it was brought t0 my attention that a rap video was shot by a prominent rapper in the football locker room of Galimore-Powell Fieldhouse without proper authorization. The video contained graphic language that is not consistent with Forida 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 facilities…but also licensed apparel that potentially violates university branding and licensing agreements.”
Simmons, who is in his sixth year at FAMU, expressed his support of free speech and “all forms of musical expression” but reiterated that the football team (as ambassadors of Florida A&M University) “has a responsibility to protect the University’s image. As a result of this unfortunate situation, as head football coach, I am effectively suspending all football related activities until further notice.”
Per FAMU officials, the music video contained explicit lyrics and was recorded in the team locker room. The musician, rapper Real Boston Richey, released the song titled “Send a Blitz,” on Friday night.
Per reports, the video – initially posted to You Tube – shows Richey wearing a FAMU shirt and a Rattlers football helmet. In addition, several FAMU football players are seen in the background throughout hte video.
The rapper at the center of the controversy is Jalen Foster, who goes by the stage name of Real Boston Richey. Foster, a Tallahassee native, performed during the team’s homecoming game last season.