Covington Catholic Students In Blackface At Pep Rally Say They Were Just Showing "School Spirit"

Covington Catholic Students In Blackface At Pep Rally Say They Were Just Showing "School Spirit"

Many say MAGA hat-wearing Nick Sandmann and his peers should be held accountable.

Published January 24th

When it comes to the students at Kentucky's Covington Catholic High School, it appears the young men have difficulty taking ownership of their racist behaviors, and thanks to white privilege, no one is holding them accountable. 

After Nicholas Sandmann, the MAGA hat-wearing teen who smirked in the face of Native American elder Nathan Phillips, refused to apologize for his behavior during a seemingly rehearsed appearance on Today, internet sleuths did a deep dive on his school. 

On YouTube, a video emerged showing several Covington students with their faces painted black at a 2012 basketball game. In a viral photo, a Black basketball player stands in front of the crowd of predominantly white young men, some of whom are painted black from head to toe.

After a photo from the video went viral, two current Covington students went on Fox News to defend the actions of the pictured alumni.

"Five years ago, there was a pep rally where one of the members of the school body appeared to have blackface on. People have even asked you to explain that. How do you explain that?" Fox's Steve Doocy asked Sam Schroder and Grant Hillmann.

Instead of reflecting on how the image did not age well, the boys said it was "school spirit."

"I just explain it as showing school spirit. We have many themes. Like nerd, business, whiteout, blue out, blackout — as you've seen in the video. Ever since I've gone to CovCath, we haven't been able to wear black paint because of the video, but I know the kids meant nothing by it, it's just showing school spirit," Schroder said.

While their reasoning may be based on actual school tradition, no one in the mainstream media has forced the boys, including Sandmann, to evaluate why their actions and decisions are rooted in racism. 

When young Black men like Tamir Rice or Trayvon Martin were gunned down for being Black, the media was quick to point out ways the victims were to blame. There was little defense for these boys outside of the Black community.

However, now that the boy being smeared in the media are white, there has been an overwhelming urge to protect them or hear their side of the story, while the stories of elder Nathan Phillips or people offended by the blackface have remained beneath the surface. 

The clip of the boys on Fox News was met with anger on Twitter. 

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: Fox News)


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