High school football player received threats after kneeling during anthem

BRUNSWICK, OH - A Brunswick High School football quarterback says standing up to hate speech put him in danger, now local police and the NAACP are investigating lynching threats.

"I don't feel safe letting my son go out in the community hang out with his friends a lot of things have changed," said Rodney Axon Sr.

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High school football player threatened after national anthem protest
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High school football player threatened after national anthem protest

His son Rodney Axon Jr tells Fox 8 he overheard his football teammates saying the n-word in reference to the Austintown-Fitch football team whose roster is largely African-American in the locker room prior to a game September 2nd. Axon Jr. says he told his team mates that was not acceptable. However the language continued on the field just prior to the national anthem.

"I heard two of my teammates say they feel they need to call Austintown-Fitch a bunch of n-words every chance they get every other play," said Axon Jr.

Axon Jr. tells Fox 8 he decided to kneel during the national anthem and pray. He says that moment angered some of his teammates and class mates. Shortly after Axon Jr. says he started to receive hateful, racists texts and snap chats. Including a hand written note written below a grocery list that said "Let's lynch N-words."

Rodney Sr. read the full note that said "F n-word, F Rodney, and went on to say lynch N-words."

"I see you a six days a week we're supposed to be a family for you to go behind my back and say things like that it hurts," said Axon.

The superintendent of Brunswick schools released this statement:

"I am deeply disappointed that any of our students would participate in its publication. Racial slurs and hate speech have no place in the Brunswick schools and those found complicit in such misconduct will be dealt with accordingly."

Calls were not returned to Fox 8 regarding what type of disciplinary action was taken and how many students were involved.

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