CITY OF KATY (Covering Katy News)—Katy Tigers starting quarterback Bronson McClelland, 17, has been suspended for two games and removed as a team captain after a social media video in which he used a racial slur, the "N" word.
Colburn McClelland, Bronson’s father, said in a statement to KPRC-TV that his son was speaking to a Hispanic student from Seven Lakes High School following a hard-fought game between Katy and Tompkins high schools Thursday, which Katy won 35-30. The self-made video was made during this conversation.
“Then, a student-athlete from Tompkins High School obtained the video and uploaded it to his Twitter account,” Colburn McClelland said. “As a result, everyone assumed and was led to believe that Bronson was speaking to this (Tompkins) student, who is an African American. However, that is not true.”
Katy Independent School District administrators and police said they were made aware of the video following the game. In a statement posted to his Twitter account Friday afternoon, Bronson McClelland said the comments he made “were not appropriate under any circumstances.” He said he and his parents met with Katy coach Gary Joseph Friday morning to discuss the situation and how to deal with it.
McClelland will miss the Tigers’ games against Morton Ranch and Seven Lakes. He will return for the October 25 game against Cinco Ranch.
Senior Jacob Bernard will take McClelland’s place in the lineup during the two game suspension.
McClelland said his suspension will give him time to focus his attention on what it means to be a member of the Katy Tiger's football team.
“I ask for your understanding and support as I try to represent you in the manner expected from a member of a championship program,” McClelland said.
“My son made a poor decision and used a very insensitive word of which we do not condone in our home," said Colburn McClelland. "We do not see color in our home as we all bleed red. Anyone that knows Bronson and who attends school with him or who has played ball with him knows his heart and they know he is not a racist. Three of Bronson's very best friends are African-Americans. We have a house full of kids all the time and the majority of which are African-American. For those folks that know my family, they know that we are caring, we are giving, and we welcome all in our home.”
Colburn McClelland said Bronson has expressed his sincere remorse for his poor judgment and has contacted the Seven Lakes student to apologize.
“Furthermore, Bronson and our entire family apologize to any and all people that were offended and hurt by his mistake, including the Tompkins football team and all of their coaches, fans & students,” Colburn McClelland said.
McClelland also said Bronson is having to learn a hard lesson through this event, and that the family stood by school officials during this time.
“The discipline and the punishment that has been handed down to Bronson is tough, fair, and hopefully a life lesson to our son,” he said.
Against Tompkins Thursday, Bronson McClelland completed six of nine passes for 144 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for a touchdown. Overall this season, he has completed 43 of 65 passes for 758 yards and seven touchdowns while throwing two interceptions. The Tigers are 5-0 overall, and 1-0 in District 19-6A play.
McClelland became the starting quarterback for the 2018 season.