Outrage and Defense: Emotional students respond to ‘Blackface’ video on Twitter

Sam Houston State University students are in an uproar due to a racially insensitive video that surfaced on Twitter late Monday night that featured a player on the women’s basketball team.

Sophomore guard Jenniffer Oramas was shown in the video posted to a teammate’s Snapchat account in what appeared to be “blackface makeup.” In the video, Oramas is seen sitting on a bathroom countertop wearing “blackface,” bobbing her head around before looking at the camera and saying “Black girl Jenn.”

The Snapchat video was later shared to Twitter, which sparked backlash from students. Oramas deleted her Twitter account (@JennnyyO_15) after students identified it was her in the video. She has yet to make a public statement regarding the incident.

Students expressed their concerns with university administration and the athletic department, demanding for action to be taken:


SHSU Athletic Director Bobby Williams and University President Dana Hoyt issued responses to the incident:

The statements from Williams and Hoyt were not enough to satisfy students. Some Bearkats want more disciplinary action for Oramas. Here is a sample of social media responses from Twitter:


However, many students and alumni quickly leapt to Oramas’ defense on Twitter, including a former teammate, former SHSU football standout PJ Hall and senior running back Remus Bulmer. Hall is the FCS all-time leader in tackles for loss and is a projected third or fourth round pick in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft. Bulmer graduated last semester, but still has a year of eligibility left on the gridiron. He defended Oramas on Twitter saying she “has a good heart and intentions aren’t bad at all.”




Approximately 36 hours after the video surfaced, SHSU announced it parted ways with women’s basketball head coach Brenda Nichols after 12 years. The coach led her team to a 7-48 overall record (4-32 vs. SLC) the last two seasons, and held a 119-235 career record during her 12-year stint. Although the Nichols departure comes to no surprise due to her team’s on-court performance, it is still unknown whether or not the decision to cut ties was linked to the “blackface” video.

Oramas joined the Bearkats in 2016 and immediately made her presence known on the court. The sophomore led the team in scoring and assists this season, posting 10 points per game while notching 3.2 assists per game. She played in 26 of 27 contests in 2017-18 as the Kats finished with a 4-23 overall record.

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