BRUNSWICK - Here are the handwritten words Brunswick High School senior Rodney Axson posted online, asking, "Who's ignorant now? Is it me?”
Every single word offensive.
Axson said he first heard teammates of his on the Brunswick High football team using the n-word in the locker room before a game on September 2.
He said he asked them to stop.
When they didn’t, he took a knee during the national anthem, later explaining himself in this post saying:
"I believe the racial inequality is real and living this is for everyone who says you're from Brunswick you don't face any discrimination this is for everyone who feels Rodney just wants attention this is for everyone who's going to say it's just a joke finally this is for everyone who doesn't see what is really going on for African-Americans in this nation say all you want about me I don't care I will continue to sit I will continue to be myself even if it makes me the N-word. I will continue to pray to God at night that racism ends. God bless.”
In a statement, Brunswick Schools superintendent Mitchell Mayell said "racial slurs and hate speech have no place in the Brunswick schools.”
People like Brunswick resident Walter Russell are reacting.
Russell is raising a biracial 10-year-old son, and like Axson, he moved here from Cleveland.
"I think it's appalling,” he said. “But at the same time words are words. You can't live your life and stop being you because of what other people think of you. You should hold your head up high because of the color of your skin.”
Axson also took a knee following the national anthem during last Friday's game against Brecksville. Neither team was allowed on the field during the national anthem.