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Player kicked off team for racial tweet during vigil

  • Bradley Patterson tweeted racial epithet during Obama's speech at Newtown vigil
  • Patterson apologizes for incident, says he's not racist
A North Alabama University football player was kicked off the team after he made a racial slur directed to President Obama during his speech at the Newtown, Connecticut, vigil.

A University of North Alabama football player has been kicked off the team after he made a racial slur referring to President Obama during his speech at the Newtown, Connecticut, vigil. 

NBC pre-empted the "Sunday Night Football" game between the San Francisco 49ers and the New England Patriots to show the vigil for the 26 victims of Friday's Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

During Obama's speech, North Alabama freshman Bradley Patterson tweeted, "Get that n----- off the screen. We wanna watch football."

Less than an hour after the tweet was posted, Patterson received a call from his coach, saying he was dismissed from the team. A school spokesperson said the school found there was no question that the tweet was written by Patterson.

Mark Linder, the school's athletic director, also posted his own tweet. 

Patterson, a freshman at the university, told HLN affiliate WAFF he wasn't planning on all this happening and it "just got too serious and out of hand."

"It really didn't occur to me until I started thinking about it late last night that I realized what I got myself into, and I realized I couldn't get myself out of it without at least asking for an apology," he said. "I want to send out thoughts and prayers to all the children and teachers that lost their lives last Friday, and may God be with them."

Patterson also insists that he is not a racist.

"No, I was just not thinking and way over my head," he said. "I just want them to know that I ain't like that. I was raised better than that, and I just got in over my head."

Patterson joined the team as a walk-on this season. He's no longer on the team's roster.

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