Games Athlete Jessica Griffith Issues Apology Following Racist Text Exchange
“There’s no other way to start this other than saying, ‘I’m sorry.’ I’m sorry and I want to take full responsibility by admitting that what I said was WRONG,” wrote Jessica Griffith in an apology statement delivered to the Morning Chalk Up. She continued, “The bottom line is, I was wrong and there’s no other direction to point the finger than at me.” (See statement in full below.)
Remind me: Last week several screenshots of a text exchange were posted to Reddit. The group chat included members of the MisFit Athletics team and was used to share scores and performances.
- On May 25, a female athlete shared her performance and Griffith replied “Myyyyy n**** that’s what I’m talking about.”
- The screenshots illustrate that a short discussion ensued in which one or more of the other athletes in the chat were offended by the casual use of that term.
- Drew Crandall, the owner of MisFit Athletics was alerted to the discussion and went into the group thread to assure the team that what happened was unacceptable.
- Between May 26-27, the MisFit team quietly dropped Jessica Griffith and Travis Williams from their athlete roster.
Why haven’t we heard from her sooner? According to Griffith, following the release of the text thread screenshots on Reddit and around social media, she disabled her Instagram on June 5. Subsequently, she tried to reactivate her account but was notified by Instagram that her account was disabled due to a community standards violation.
Full Statement from Jessica Griffith:
“There’s no other way to start this other than saying, “I’m sorry.” I’m sorry and I want to take full responsibility by admitting that what I said was WRONG. I’m sorry that I insensitively, playfully, and casually used a term, I should instead, refrain from EVER using. I’m sorry that I tried to justify it. I should have immediately apologized the very moment I was confronted. Most importantly, I’m sorry that I hurt people, friends, and the Black community as a whole. The bottom line is, I was wrong and there’s no other direction to point the finger than at me, Jessica Griffith.
I acknowledge that there is no going back in time and erasing what was said. I also want to acknowledge how my actions up until this point have demonstrated that I truly do not understand the depth of hurt Black people have and currently are facing (as this isn’t the first time I have made a comment or used a term that was unintentionally hurtful to someone else). This is not easy to admit as I understand how fundamental this principal is, but something I must confront in order to be better. I am appreciative of the people who have held my feet to the fire and held me accountable for my wrong doing. I am appreciative of the people who have been gracious with me and have come alongside me as I am diligently working to further educate myself on this topic and learn how to love and value others better.
Through this I’ve gained perspective. I have felt this VERY deeply—as it’s been a very humbling and heart breaking learning experience. I realize my pain is only scratching the surface of what Black people are facing and it breaks my heart to think about the extent of their sorrow.
I know words only go so far—so I want to express this by continuing to show up with extended arms and open ears. I want to use any bit of influence I have to move forward together in unity. I realize that change starts from within and therefore have joined arms with a group to educate ourselves on Monique Melton’s “Anti-Racism 101 Crash Course.” Through this, I plan to further my understanding beyond this incident. As a group, we plan to discuss what we learned and decide from there what our action steps will look like to contribute a direct positive to this movement towards justice.
I’m not perfect. I WILL make mistakes. But I hope my heart is seen and there is grace and patience with me as I’m putting my best foot forward to learn the way. I want to stand against injustice against Black lives and I want to start with myself—because I can’t help change the world unless I change myself first. Acts 10 describes how God does not show favoritism and accepts those from every nation. That’s the kind of God I serve and the rock I will forever stand on. ️ #BLACKLIVESMATTER”