A racist image of a Ku Klux Klan hood atop a Giles County football player and a threat supposedly directed to a Black athlete at Nolensville High School has sparked a great deal of concern leading up to the two schools' Friday night football game.
An email was sent to Nolensville High School parents from NHS Principal Amy Maffei about "some inappropriate and threatening social media posts against our football team that have been circulating" ahead of the night's contest at Giles County.
One post was reported on by the Tennessee Holler, showing a Giles County player in what looks to be a photoshopped Klan mask and featuring a caption that says in part "hide your running back," supposedly aimed at Nolensville's starting running back Samson Johnson, who is Black. Johnson is one of the county's top football players.
The post appears to have come from a since-deleted account titled "gchs.barstool," a reference to the popular, controversial sports website Barstool Sports, which has different communities of fans at various high schools and colleges across the country. It is not known if this group was directly affiliated with the website.
Giles County is home to Pulaski, Tenn., the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan movement.
Maffei says she has been in contact with the law enforcement in Williamson and Giles Counties in regard to investigating the posts.
"We all take this type of behavior seriously, and law enforcement has and will continue to investigate any type of threat," Maffei's email, posted to the Facebook group "Nolensville 411," read. "We remain committed to prosecuting all school related threats to the full extent of the law."
Maffei says two Williamson County Sheriff's Office deputies will be traveling with Nolensville to Pulaski for Friday's game, but that both schools and law enforcement don't anticipate any issues to arise at the night's contest.
"We always appreciate the quick response by law enforcement," Maffei's email said. "As a reminder as we begin this school year, parents please talk to your student about the consequences of making any type of school threat and encourage your student to say something if they see something."
This is not the first time this year allegations of racism have popped up in local sports. MLK Magnet filed a complaint to the TSSAA about alleged racial slurs being hurled at the school's soccer players by Page High School fans.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Giles County between the two schools.
We have reached out to Williamson County Schools and WSCO on the matter. This is a developing story.