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Football league gives a Virginia high school one-year warning because of 'N' word video

Virginia High School League said video of players chanting the "N" word led to the warning. Another serious infraction could keep the football team from playoffs.

HAMPTON, Va. — A spokesman for the Virginia High School League (VHSL) said Wednesday that the organization issued a one-year warning to Phoebus High School's football program. The sanction was in response to a video that appeared on social media and showed at least some players chanting the "N" word.

VHSL spokesman Mike McCall said, "Phoebus has received a one-year warning for its football program, which is a serious infraction. Any other serious infraction within its football program during the year will result in a ban from the playoffs. This sanction is consistent with our policy.”

The video seemed to be recorded at a Phoebus High School football game. Players stood in a group, using the "N" word to get themselves psyched up to play.

Kellie Goral, spokeswoman for Hampton City Schools, told 13News Now on Monday the school and the school division were aware of the video which appeared to be posted on the Instagram account of one of the players. From there, people began to share it.

Most of the team members wore their helmets at the time, so it's not clear if every player took part in the chant.

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Goral said, "The language contained in the video, or any other type of inappropriate offensive language, is not allowed."

She explained that Hampton City Schools was taking appropriate measures to address the video, based on the division's Student's Rights and Responsibilities Handbook.

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Goral wrote in an email: 

To emphasize what is expected of our students as they represent Phoebus High School, Hampton City Schools, and the community, the football coaching staff and Phoebus High School administration are meeting with the football team and their parents to reinforce the expectations of a student athlete.