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Gators pull scholarship offer from high school quarterback after racial slur

Marcus Stokes apologizes in Twitter post
Florida Gators seat backs on bleachers at Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in 2016
Posted at 6:59 PM, Nov 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-20 23:56:12-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Florida Gators have pulled a scholarship offer from a recruit who made a racial slur while quoting a lyric from a song that he posted on social media.

A video of four-star Florida high school quarterback Marcus Stokes surfaced on social media Friday.

In the video, Stokes can be seen and heard saying, "Welcome back," followed by the racial slur.

"I was in my car listening to rap music, rapping along to the words and posted a video of it on social media," Stokes said Sunday in an apology shared on Twitter. "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."

It was enough for the Gators and first-year head coach Billy Napier to withdraw the scholarship offer.

"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," he said. "My intention was never to hurt anybody and I recognize that even when going along with a song, my words still carry a lot of weight."

The move comes a little more than a week after high school quarterback Jaden Rashada flipped his commitment from Miami to the Gators.

Stokes had been committed to Florida since July.

"I will strive to be better and to become the best version of myself on and off the field," Stokes said. "I know that learning from my mistakes is a first important step."