Volleyball players in Champlin Park Snapchat controversy suspended for opening match

Students at Champlin Park held a protest demanding accountability after the video was circulated.

Two volleyball players at the center of a Snapchat were suspended from their team's state tournament game Thursday.

A huge group of Champlin Park High School students staged a protest Wednesday over the social media posts, which included video taken on what appeared to be a Rebels volleyball bus, where someone can be heard saying the n-word while rapping along with a song.

The fervor began building late Nov. 2 when the video was posted, and after hearing the players initially wouldn't be suspended, reached a fever pitch with the students' demonstration and hashtag #boycottcpvb.

"If they disobey, they don't play," the students chanted during the protest.

And it turns out, they won't.

The two players were suspended for Thursday's opening state tournament matchup against Moorhead, attorney Phil Villaume confirmed to GoMN.

He said it was a joint decision between the players, school officials, and the Minnesota State High School League. The league has a code of conduct the behavior violated, and the district has a zero tolerance policy on harassment and discrimination, he said.

The families of the two players, through Villaume, also expressed a few things about the incident, including condemning racism "in the strongest possible terms."

"The original postings on the social media that involved members of the volleyball team had no ill intent," the families said, noting they were singing along with a rap song that included the n-word.

"The girls apologized profusely to those that were offended, and they are extremely remorseful for the original post," the family continued.

In addition, they said any incidents aside from that video were "unrelated to any of the girls on the volleyball team," and noted the school district can't correct "misinformation" because of student data privacy laws.

Two other images had been circulating amid the controversy. One was a photo of a girl with a dark substance covering her entire face, resembling blackface. The other was a screengrabbed DM conversation that included the line: "We brought you guys to America. Without us you wouldn't even be here."

The Anoka-Hennepin School District told the Star Tribune they're talking with students about social media behavior.

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