GSU soccer player withdraws from school after using racial epithet

ATLANTA — A Georgia State University soccer player has been suspended from the team and has withdrawn from school after allegedly using a racial epithet on social media, according to school officials.

Natalia Martinez’s name has been stripped from the team’s online roster after the epithet appeared on her Finsta account. Finsta is a slang term for a fake Instagram account where users post more revealing content they may not want all of their regular Instagram followers to see.

Associate Athletic Director Mike Holmes told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that officials were made aware of the situation Friday morning.

"We are handling the matter internally at the present time," Holmes told the AJC.

On Monday afternoon, university officials announced on their official Twitter page that Martinez withdrew from the university.


The university released the following statement via its verified Twitter account:

“Georgia State Athletics is aware of an incident on social media involving one of our student-athletes on Friday. We do not tolerate the language the student used in her post. Pursuant to our student-athlete code of conduct, she has been suspended from the soccer team.”

According to an online bio, Martinez is a freshman from Weston, Florida.

In her now deleted post, she used the N-word.

A petition to expel Martinez collected more than 500 signatures in two days.

Student India Bridgeforth started the petition. She told Channel 2's Matt Johnson she did it in response to the post.

"We felt like that was kind of a slap in the face, especially considering how many students of color are here," she said. "There's so many students of color here why would you want to be here, if you feel that way about us?" Bridgeforth said.

Some students told Johnson, they wish they could have heard from the student who made the post.

"I think suspension is enough, but in all actuality, she should do a public apology," said Nicholas Coleman.

But some say an apology isn't enough.

"I would definitely accept her apology but there's still consequences for every action," Bridgefort said.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this report.