College students are America's future. They're the brightest hope we've got — statistically speaking, they're among the most tolerant and friendly people in America. They study physics and poetry, shave their heads and start punk bands, and get pissed off about microaggressions and trigger warnings.
A small percentage of them, however, are also monsters who make fun of dead athletes and make stupid signs about it.
The Miami Hurricanes football squad will face off against the Virginia Tech Hokies later tonight. Further proving that 98 percent of the slogans spray-painted on bedsheets are offensive, a group of Virginia Tech students apparently posted a sign outside their campus house before the game, which reads: "Bury the U Next to José Fernandez."
It's gameday in Blacksburg pic.twitter.com/uAgBgAMoCs— VT Barstool (@BarstoolVTech) October 20, 2016
For those who don't know, Fernandez, a 24-year-old Marlins pitcher, was killed last month in a high-speed boating accident. He was one of the best pitchers in all of Major League Baseball, and, with the looming departure of Heat player Chris Bosh, was the most talented pro athlete in all of Miami. Fernandez's boat hit a jetty around 3 a.m. on a Sunday morning, and there are questions as to whether Fernandez had been drinking before getting behind the wheel. But Fernandez left behind a pregnant girlfriend and — as a Cuban immigrant — was a beacon of hope to Miami's Latin-American community.
The photo seems to have originated with Barstool Sports, a site devoted almost entirely to entertaining dumb collegiate virgins with photos of half-naked blonde women, explosions, and idiots doing keg-stands. As we were writing this story, the top post in the site's "Girls" vertical was titled "Guess That Ass." On Wednesday, they posted an article titled "Humongous Lady Loses A Third Of Her Weight Due To Kinky Fucking Her New Boyfriend."
So, yeah, that Barstool Sports said Virginia Tech fans had gone too far with this one.
Perhaps realizing that the sign would upset some people, the students added a hasty "RIP" to the end, as if adding a disclaimer would somehow make the whole thing okay. It didn't, and people are pretty pissed.
By "people," we mean Miami Beach Police, the entire WPLG Local 10 News team, and documentarian Billy Corben among many others.
When Barstool says this is over the line it's over the line pic.twitter.com/tED2pyfjyZ— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) October 20, 2016
You can add New Times to that list, too.
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There are legitimate questions to be answered surrounding Fernandez's accident. The families of the other two men who died in the accident have reportedly hired a lawyer, who is investigating the crash independently. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has also withheld releasing documents related to the crash.
But this sign wasn't a pointed critique regarding any of that. This was just dumb and offensive, in that astounding way only college students can be.
Update: In a statement, Virginia Tech condemned the sign, and said it was investigating who posted it off-campus.
"We've been made aware of an offensive sign that appears to have come from a member of our community," spokesperson Tracy Vosburg said via email. "While we investigate, we want to emphasize that that this tasteless off campus sign doesn't reflect our values or those of Hokie Nation. Athletic rivalries are what make sports great, but that sort of talk has no place here. We're better than that."