Phillipsburg wrestlers posed around a lynched mannequin wearing the shirt of a rival high school. Credit: Provided
What some are calling a racist photograph apparently made in jest by high school athletes is no laughing matter to New Jersey school officials.
Seven wrestlers from North Jersey's Phillipsburg High School wrestling team have been suspended from an upcoming state tournament days after a photograph went viral that showed the wrestlers lynching an effigy of their high school rivals, CBS reported.
The mannequin in the photo is wearing a Paulsboro High School shirt.
Two boys in the photo have their hoods shaped like points, similar to the hoods worn by the Ku Klux Klan.
Phillipsburg High School officials declined to confirm why the students were suspended from the District 1 tournament, set to take place on Saturday.
The Gloucester County NAACP chapter released a statement that they will seek a meeting with school district officials to discuss the situation, due to the racial overtones associated with lynching imagery.
The Phillipsburg wrestling team reportedly trounced Paulsboro in a meet earlier this month.