Florida A&M suspended all football-related activities until further notice after a rap video with explicit lyrics was filmed in the team's locker room without authorization and released online.
Coach Willie Simmons announced the program's halt Friday night just hours after the release of the video for "Send A Blitz" from rapper Real Boston Richey.
In the video, Richey is seen in the locker room at Galimore-Powell Fieldhouse on the Florida A&M campus in Tallahassee. Richey is wearing a Florida A&M shirt as well as helmets bearing the team logo. Several Florida A&M football players can be seen in the video.
In his statement posted to Twitter, Simmons said the video was made "without proper authorization" and that a forthcoming investigation will look into who authorized the use of the locker room as well as the use of team apparel, which "potentially violates university branding and licensing agreements."
Though Simmons said he supports "free speech and ... all forms of musical expression," he expressed disappointment that the content of the video was not in alignment with the university's image.
The video contained graphic language that "is not consistent with Florida A&M's core values, principles and beliefs," the statement said.
Simmons said he hopes the Florida A&M athletes will learn from the experience.
"It is a privilege to wear the orange and green and as a football program, our young men have failed to live up to the standard set before us," Simmons said in the statement. "They will all learn from this mishap and we will continue to work hard every day to become the best version of ourselves and continue to make Rattler Nation proud."
Richey is a local of Tallahassee whose real name is Jalen Foster. He performed at Florida A&M's homecoming game last season.
Simmons is entering his sixth season as head coach of Florida A&M and has a 33-12 record. The Rattlers open the season Sept. 3 against Jackson State at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla
--Field Level Media