In Murfreesboro, Tennessee, two football players from Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) under investigation for animal cruelty, have been temporarily booted from the team. In a video posted to Justin Akins’ Snapchat account last month, Shalom Alvarez can be seen hitting a defenseless puppy.
When the incident was first reported by WsmvNews, head coach for the team Rick Stockstill initially stated that the players told him the puppy urinated inside and they were disciplining it. Stockstill referred to it as a “teaching moment” and said he pointed out how disciplining the pet by hitting it could become a social media disaster. In the Snapchat video, which a concerned citizen copied to their Ipad, authorities state Shalom Alvarez, who is a linebacker for MTSU’s football team, can be seen hitting the dog. Police said he grabbed the puppy out from underneath the bed and forcefully hit it at least five times. The puppy is heard crying in pain with each hit. Akins then posted the following comment under the video:
“[Expletive] said you don’t pay rent.”
MTSU Athletic Director Chris Massaro agreed the actions captured on the video were indeed disturbing. In a statement to the Daily News Journal, he announced:
“We welcome the inquiry by the Rutherford County Pet Adoption and Welfare Services. We have high expectations of conduct of our student-athletes. Coach Stockstill has suspended these players until the inquiry is complete and they will perform community service to the benefit of local animal welfare efforts.
The puppy did not belong to either football player. The pooch named ‘Rocko” belongs to another MTSU player – Daryl Randolph. There have not been any arrests.
(Photo of video by MTSU football players via Snapchat freezeshot)
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