Last week, former Texas A&M linebacker Santino Marchiol accused his former school of a spate of NCAA violations, in an effort to make his case that he should be allowed to play for Arizona this year because his transfer out of A&M was due to “hardships,” the only way he’d be allowed to play in 2018. As it turns out, he won’t be playing with Arizona at all, since he was kicked off the team yesterday after a video surfaced of him referring to his former A&M teammates as “monkeys.”
Until a few days ago when it was discovered then quickly deleted, Marchiol’s Hudl page featured video of an Aggies scrimmage in April. The background of the video features a voice referring to one player as “one of those monkeys” and then another as “the monkey safety.” Kevin Sumlin declined to say why Marchiol had been kicked off the team, though ESPN reports it was because of the video.
Marchiol’s attorney gave ESPN a truly staggering statement regarding his client, who, once again, got kicked off of his football team for calling black players “monkeys.”
As someone who helped lead the effort to advance diversity in the legal profession, served on the National Urban League board, and worked closely with people like Dennis Archer, Rev. Al Sharpton, and other prominent African-American leaders, I understand and respect the University’s decision.
On the other hand, as someone who’s grown close to Santino and who knows the quality of his character, the depth of his faith, and the sincerity of his convictions, I’m heartbroken. What can be heard on the highlights video doesn’t reflect the values or beliefs of the young man that I’ve come to know.