Marcus Stokes, one of the top high school football players in the United States at the moment, had his University of Florida scholarship offer rescinded after he posted a two-second video of him rapping along to music in his car, singing, “Welcome back, n***a.”
The Nease High School student is white and very obviously received significant backlash online for the video, which led to the offer being pulled. Stokes had been committed since early July to attending the University of Florida to play football.
“I was in my car listening to rap music, rapping along to the words and posted a video of it on social media,” Stokes explained in a tweet on Sunday. “I deeply apologize for the words in the song that I chose to say. It was hurtful and offensive to many people, and I regret that. I fully accept the consequences for my actions, and I respect the University of Florida’s decision to withdraw my scholarship offer to play football.”
“My intention was never to hurt anybody and I recognize that even when going along with a song, my words still carry a lot of weight,” he went on. “I will strive to be better and to become the best version of myself both on and off the field. I know that learning from my mistakes is a first important step.”
Stokes’s junior year season was great, though in his senior year, the 6’1”, 190lbs quarterback was struggling to keep up with expectations. He was ranked by 247Sports as the 14th signal-caller in the United States.
The quarterback received a number of other offers to play football from other universities, from Penn State to Pittsburgh to Virginia Tech, throughout his high school football career, but it is unclear if those scholarship offers will still be available to him in the future, given the backlash of his social media posts.