Several H.S. football players in California were booted from their team after filming a racist prank where they sold their Black teammates at a "slave auction," TMZ Sports has learned ... and now the team has been forced to forfeit the entire year over a lack of eligible players.
Once the district got word of the video, made by members of the River Valley H.S. (CA) FB team, which was apparently meant to be funny, they acted swiftly ... kicking off the offending players for violating the student-athlete code of conduct.
"Re-enacting a slave sale as a prank tells us that we have a great deal of work to do with our students so they can distinguish between intent and impact," Yuba City Unified School District Superintendent Doreen Osumi wrote.
"They may have thought this skit was funny, but it is not; it is unacceptable and requires us to look honestly and deeply at issues of systemic racism."
Osumi said the students will be disciplined, but it's as much about teaching, too ... "education, honest, open discussions and instruction will guide our students to realize that their choices and actions have consequences."
The superintendent said the district is working to make sure the student body can learn from this situation -- adding she sees this as an opportunity for students to be more "aware, thoughtful, and considerate of others."
“When students find humor in something that is so deeply offensive, it tells me that we have an opportunity to help them expand their mindset," Osumi said.
River Valley hadn't exactly gotten off to the best start. They were 0-6, according to Max Preps. Football season in California usually kicks off mid-August, and with the playoffs, can go through mid-December.
Once all the discipline is handled, the plan is to field a team for the 2023 H.S. football season.