UPDATE: The school revoked the scholarship offer and the coach apologized for making it, saying “Let me start with a humble apology. An apology for not honoring the tradition and history of ASU and for letting many of you down. I didn’t uphold the Ramily standard that I know you expect. Please know that my decision to speak with a student that did not meet your expectations was unacceptable. I only wanted the best for our team, athletes, and institution when I invited the student to visit ASU. As I say to our players, ‘there is a consequence to every action. The consequences of my actions brought pain to our University. I was trying to help a student get back in competition, and in my haste, I did not consider the impact the decision would have on all of you. Frankly, it wasn’t my place to use ASU as the platform for redemption in this case. I regret that I used flawed judgment. If given the opportunity, I will do better.”
High School quarterback Marcus Stokes committed to play for the Florida Gators back in July 2022, and the fan base was thrilled to have the young talent coming aboard after his senior year. That was until November when Stokes was seen on video rapping along with a song on the radio, where he could be heard reciting the “N-Word.”
The woke mob immediately descended upon him, and his scholarship offer was eventually withdrawn from the University of Florida. Immediately following the loss of his Florida offer, Stokes released a since-deleted statement on Twitter, according to Outkick, that said in part:
“I was in my car listening to rap music, rapping along to the words and posted a video of it on social media. I deeply apologize for the words in the song that I chose to say. It was hurtful and offensive to many people, and I regret that. I fully accept the consequences for my actions, and I respect the University of Florida’s decision to withdraw my scholarship offer to play football.”
It also seems that other schools who had an interest in the highly touted 4-star QB have shied away given the controversy, but one surprising team finally came to swoop in with an offer. On Tuesday, Stokes posted to Twitter that he received an offer from Albany State.
Blessed to reciever my first HBCU offer to play at Albany State University! @CoachQGray @ASUGoldenRamsFB @Andrew_Ivins @CoachDrafts @NeaseFTBL pic.twitter.com/5mAsS0Mv3X
— Marcus “JOKER” Stokes🃏 (@marcusstokes06) January 24, 2023
As the Tweet mentions, Albany State is an HBCU (which stands for Historically black colleges and universities) and it seems that at least one predominantly black group has moved past the incident and accepted Stokes’ apology.
It seems that Stokes has also received offers from plenty of schools outside of the NCAA’s Division 1, but this offer is certainly the most noteworthy. Given that the national recruiting website 247Sports rates Stokes as the 24th-best QB in the nation, this would be quite the get for the Division 2 Albany State program.
It’s complete conjecture, but it would seem that if an HBCU is willing to bring Stokes into the fold, there must not be any further red flags that incited the young man to be the racist and bigot that many have painted him to be. And while to many this will not rehabilitate his image, it should serve as a message to many fans and football programs that what Stokes did was truly just a one-time mistake, not some trend to worry about in the long run.
Also, should he choose to play football at the Division 2 level, Stokes would be set-up for success. A four-star recruit playing at that level would be a sort-of unicorn, with talent that many coaches wouldn’t even bother trying to recruit under normal circumstances. Thought this story is definitely a cautionary tale about how quickly woke culture can ruin a career, it may also be a good example of landing on one’s feet and making the best out of a bad situation.
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