UPDATE (September 6, 3:55 p.m.) Speaking to The FADER after Crushers Club's engagement with alt-right figureheads on Twitter resurfaced, Crushers Club founder Sally Hazelgrove said that she "should have had more foresight" before liking posts by Candace Owens, Charlie Kirk, and Donald Trump..
UPDATE (September 6, 12:40 p.m.) As Twitter user Ashley Yates points out, Crusher's Club has deleted a number of the controversial tweets.
UPDATE (September 5, 9:25 p.m.) In a statement provided to The FADER, Sally Hazelgrove said members of the Crushers Club are not discouraged from having dreadlocks. She writes: "“The Crusher’s Club does not have any policies prohibiting dreadlocks — we welcome all hairstyles from our youth. On occasion, our kids look to change their hairstyles and ask us to assist, especially since haircuts can be a costly expense for them. Our goal is — and will always be — to equip our youth with the resources to improve their neighborhoods, maximize their potential and develop into the leaders of tomorrow.”
The ongoing controversy over JAY-Z and Roc Nation's deal with the NFL has exploded for the second time in a week. The Crushers Club is one of two groups working with at-risk Chicago kids that will receive part of $400,000 donation from Roc Nation and the NFL as part of the previously announced "Inspire Change" initiative. But the organization came under scutiny on Thursday for social media posts containing images of black children getting their dreadlocks cut off, the phrase "All Lives Matter," and more.
The Twitter account @RzstProgramming resurfaced old posts from social media profiles associated with the Crushers Club. "They engage youth with activities, but it appears part of their agenda is #copaganda and a troubling practice of encouraging young black males to allow the director to cut off their dreads," @RzstProgramming writes.
In one quote-tweeted post from the @CrusherClub account, Club President Sally Hazelgrove can be seen cutting the dreadlocks from a young black man. "It's symbolic of change and their desire for a better life," the original post, dated October 25, 2016, reads.
Soon after @RzstProgramming resurfaced the tweet, Crushers Club posted a video titled "Message from Kobe" featuring a person claiming to be the boy in the photo getting his hair cut. "Cut my hair like three years ago, that was something I wanted to do," he says. "I was tired of it, tired of gangbanging, tired of messing up." Watch it below:
@RzstProgramming also shared Facebook screencaps of a three-year-old exchange over the cutting of dreadlocks. "There's a rich cultural heritage associated with locs," the comment reads. "Unfortunately, systemic racist systems seek to force compliance to white ideas of acceptable hairstyles." The Facebook administrator of the Crushers Club page thanks the person for their comment and adds: "I don't see race, children are children to me."
The Twitter thread also highlights instances of pro-police sentiment, and one instance of the account tweeting "All Lives Matter."
The FADER has reached out to Crushers Club for comment.