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Father of teen shown in Milton student’s racist meme disappointed and upset at photo

milton school district
milton school district(WMTV)
Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 3:57 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 4, 2021 at 6:23 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A father in Janesville is disappointed and upset as a racist meme targeting his son makes the rounds on social media.

Robert Douglas says his 15-year-old son J.J. was featured in the meme. J.J. is a football player for Janesville Parker High School. Robert Douglas says his son is a talented wide receiver on the varsity squad. He says when Parker played Milton back in September, J.J. didn’t play well. He dropped passes and the defense shut him down. The crowd let him know about his performance.

“The crowd was chanting ‘OVERRATED’ to my son,” said Robert Douglas in a phone conversation with NBC15.

A photo was taken at the game showing J.J. lying face down on the ground in disappointment. A Milton High School football defender was standing over him. Robert Douglas says a student at Milton took that photo and placed another photo below it depicting a slave master whipping a slave lying on the ground.

Robert wants to make it clear that the student-athlete from Milton High School seen in the photo is NOT the person who created the meme. He has nothing to do with it. Instead, the person who created the meme is a friend of J.J.’s.

“They’ve been friends since about 6-years-old,” Robert Douglas said. “They grew up playing football together,”

Robert says his son was shocked to see the photo.

“He’s hurt about it and about who did it,” said Robert Douglas.

Robert Douglas says the mother of the boy who created the meme called him to apologize.

“She must have apologized a dozen times on the phone. I know the boy apologized on Snapchat, too,”

Robert Douglas says he is using this as a teaching moment for his young son.

“I told him the story of Hank Aaron. How people were saying all sorts of things about him as he chased the home run record. But I told him that Hank Aaron didn’t pay attention to any of that. He just worked hard and looked what happened, he became the home run king,” said Robert Douglas.

J.J. did end up bouncing back after the game and posted impressive numbers, including two 100 yard games to close the season. He ended up with four triple-digit games out of nine played en route to racking up 810 yards for the season.

Following each of their investigations, both the police department and the school district emphasized neither player shown in the image consented to their likenesses being used in the post and offered their support to the students and their families. “These students have been victimized and deserve our compassion and understanding,” the school district added.

The Milton High School student behind the offending post will be subject to the district’s code of conduct and school handbook’s disciplinary procedures, the district continued. District officials have completed their investigation; however, the district did not outline possible repercussions, citing federal and state privacy laws regarding students.

The Janesville Police Dept. has joined the investigation and the Milton School District has condemned the meme as “abhorrent, inconsistent with the policies of the (School District of Milton), and has no place in our community,”

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