If they were 25, 26, that criticism would be justifiable,” Wilhelm said. “But they’re 15 or 16. Face it — kids at that age do stupid stuff.”
See the team’s apology below:
Though the teens put on their best innocent faces, some members of the community did not buy their story.
“I don’t know what they were thinking,” said Loretta Winters, president of the N.A.A.C.P.’s chapter in Gloucester County. “Who hangs anybody by a noose? And points the hoodie into a tent to look like the Ku Klux Klan?”
The Warren County prosecutor’s office worked with the Phillipsburg police department to investigate the possibility of criminal activity involved with the highly problematic and racial photo.
They concluded, in agreement with the state attorney general, that the criminal investigation is now closed and that the incident is now solely in the hands of Phillipsburg High officials.
Read the wrestlers’ statement below: