GSU soccer player withdraws from school after backlash over racial epithet

GSU soccer player withdraws from school after backlash over racial epithet

  • Story Highlights
  • Natalia Martinez had been suspended from the team.
  • Students signed a petition calling for the school to take a tougher approach.
  • Martinez officially withdrew from Georgia State University on Monday.

A Georgia State University soccer player who was suspended from the team after she used a racial epithet on social media has withdrawn from the school, officials said.

Some students had called for the expulsion of 18-year-old freshman defender Natalia Martinez after the epithet appeared on her Finsta page, a secret version of Instagram that is growing in popularity among teens.

“As a progressive, diverse university, we ... feel like this sort of behavior should not be tolerated,” said India Bridgeforth, who created a petition demanding the university take a tougher approach with Martinez.

The petition had garnered more than 500 signatures by Monday afternoon, when the university announced Martinez had “officially withdrawn.”

Associate athletic director Mike Holmes told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that officials were made aware of Martinez’s post Friday morning — just days after the University of Alabama expelled a 19-year-old student who posted a video of her racist ranting on her Finsta page.

That student, Harley Barber, uploaded a second video on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in response to people who were upset by the language and threatened those who wanted to report her fake Instagram account, The Washington Post reported. 

In a statement, Georgia State University said the school does “not tolerate the language (Martinez) used in her post.”

Georgia State University soccer team member Natalia Martinez plans to withdraw from the school after backlash over a racial epithet she used on social media, according to the university. (Credit: Georgia State University)

 

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