A captain for Pace University's football team, has been suspended and stripped of his captaincy while an investigation is made into a politically incorrect photo from Snapchat that was leaked to the press.
The offensive photo depicts Tyler Owens draped in a Confederate flag, doing a Nazi salute and is labeled "the grand wizard."
The senior defensive lineman is shown posing with his right arm raised, wearing a shirt and hat bearing the Confederate flag design and the caption referencing a Ku Klux Klan leader’s title.
The Snapchat shot emerged after African-American students from the New York school sent it to News 12 Westchester.
Pace President Stephen Friedman blasted the photo.
“The photograph is highly offensive and contrary to the values of diversity, inclusiveness and embracing the ethnic and cultural differences among students, faculty and staff that are deeply held at Pace University,” he wrote in an e-mail, according to the student newspaper, The Pace Chronicle.
The Chronicle said it also got the photo from students, who said they were athletes but not friends of Owens, a criminal-justice major from Salem, NJ.
Others defended Owens.
“People are taking a joke out of context. It was just a couple of guys messing around. They saw the [clothing] and jokingly put it on,” said Addison Casey, a teammate of Owens for two years.
Owens, a graduate of Salem High School, was once honored by the South Jersey Chapter of the National Football Foundation as an outstanding scholar-athlete in 2012.