8 wrestlers scratched from tournament after lynching photo

8 wrestlers scratched from tournament after lynching photo

Posted: Updated:
MYFOXNY.COM/AP -

Eight members of a New Jersey high school wrestling team are planning to speak out after being scratched from a state tournament days after a photo surfaced of some of them simulating a lynching.

In a statement, lawyer Scott Wilhelm says the eight Phillipsburg High School wrestlers will address their school's "supervision" of their participation in a tournament that starts this week.

Phillipsburg officials would not disclose why the wrestlers were pulled from competition, saying they cannot comment on any "student issues."

New Jersey school sports officials had already asked the state Division on Civil Rights to look into the photo.

New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association assistant director Larry White says his office forwarded the picture to the state Division on Civil Rights.

The photo shows seven white teens wearing Phillipsburg High wrestling attire posed with a black tackling dummy in a Paulsboro wrestling shirt and hanging from a noose. Two of the boys have the hoods on their sweatshirts fixed into points. Paulsboro is a major rival for the team.  The eighth boy who was suspended had taken the photo.

The photo surfaced online in recent days.

Phillipsburg High School officials would not say why the wrestlers were pulled from competition, telling The Express-Times of Easton it's a "private student matter."

Through their lawyer, the students released a statement saying they were sorry. They also noted that the wresting dummy only comes in one color.

Copyright 2014 MyFoxNYThe Associated Press.
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