Coach Willie Simmons told The Associated Press on Saturday, July 22, 2023, the team facility, weight room and access to the stadium field were off limits to all the players until he and the administration could sort out who was involved in the video shoot. (AP Photo/Chris Seward, File)

On July 25th The Florida A&M University (FAMU) football team resumed football-related activities, after being cleared by Vice-President and Director of Athletics Tiffani Dawn-Sykes. Head football coach Willie Simmons had previously put a halt to all football-related activities following the discovery of a rap video that includes footage from inside the team’s locker room without authorization, as reported by the athletic department. The video was shot by Florida native Jalen Foster, also known as Real Boston Richey. There is still an ongoing investigation into the incident that occurred.

During the music video for his song “Send A Blitz,” the rapper is seen wearing FAMU apparel and team helmets. Also, there were multiple FAMU athletes seen in the video. The video contains explicit use of language and content that is considered to be highly inappropriate and not aligned with the university’s fundamental beliefs or guiding principles.

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The biggest concern for both coach Simmons and Florida A&M University is how they are being represented. Simmons commented in the Washington Post, “Although I am a proud proponent of free speech and support all forms of musical expressions, this football team (as ambassadors of Florida A&M) has a responsibility to protect the University’s image.”

FAMU football head coach Willie Simmons (left) runs on the field before the Orange Blossom Classic when the Rattlers battled the Jackson State University Tigers on September 4, 2022 (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

He also stated, “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. 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.”

At Sentinel press time, the university and its sports department were investigating who permitted the use of the facility and if any football players were part of it. Normally, only athletes, coaches, and trainers are allowed to enter the facility.