Quarterback Marcus Stokes Has Scholarship To Florida Pulled For Rapping N-Word | Perhaps Education And Understanding Would Be A Better Punishment

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The University of Florida has rescinded a football scholarship offer to high school prospect Marcus Stokes for using the N-word while rapping along with a song, according to reports. The Nease High School quarterback posted a video of himself rapping the lyrics to a song in his car. The backlash was swift and immediate and Florida pulled his scholarship. Stokes accepted responsibility for his actions and apologized via social media.

“I was in my car listening to rap music, rapping along to the words and posted video of it to social media,” Stokes wrote in a statement Sunday. “I deeply apologize for the words in the song which I chose to say.”

Did Stokes Deserve To Have Scholarship Taken?

In 2022 you have to know that anything you put on social media is grounds for public scrutiny, and if people find your actions reprehensible or out of bounds, you’ll have to answer for it in the court of public opinion. Sometimes the consequences are severe.

But that begs the question. Should Stokes have lost his scholarship for singing a song? He didn’t call anyone the N-word.

Hip-hop music is popular music among a certain age range in the United States. The music is filled with the N-word, misogyny, and other foul language. We can argue about free speech and whether or not the music should contain that kind of language, but it’s kind of pointless. This is where we are. It’s a fact of the matter.

Where Did Hip-Hop Music Start?

Hip-hop music originated in New York city in the 1970s and was representative of the experiences of primarily Black people in that environment. At the time, nobody imagined it would become the dominant force in music with massive cross-cultural appeal. But, alas, here we are.

Now, Stokes as a white person should know better. Regardless of whether or not he’s just rapping along or whatever. When a white person says the N-word in any context it will elicit strong reactions. That’s not Stokes’ fault. But that is the reality of the country we live in and its abhorrent history and present with regards to race.

You can’t say the N-word, put it on social media and expect nothing to happen. You can’t be that naive in 2022.

“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,” Stokes said. “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.”

Perhaps Education And Understanding Would Be A Better Path

Words do matter and Stokes is learning that lesson. Perhaps too harshly. But this is the environment we find ourselves in. Rather 
than take away his scholarship, perhaps education and understanding would be a better path. Does he understand the power of that word outside of a hip-hop context? Does he understand why when one person says it in a specific context, it has a different meaning than when said in another one?

The word shouldn’t be used by anyone ever in any context. But we are way too far down that road now to turn back. With the incessant usage of the word within a music genre that is tops in the world, the usage of the N-word will continue to be a slippery slope for the new generation.