Nikita Whitlock called for an end to “oppression, violence, racism, hatred” the day after vandals scrawled racist messages on the walls of his Bergen County, N.J., apartment during a break-in.
Whitlock, a 25-year-old running back for the New York Giants, found “KKK,” “Go back to Africa,” “f—- n—-” and a swastika were left behind in his basement apartment while he, his wife and two young children were out Tuesday evening.
“It just re-establishes that no matter where you are, no matter who you are, this can happen to you,” Whitlock, who lives in Moonachie, told CBS New York.
He shared images of the break-in, the second at his home since Thanksgiving, on Instagram (they are disturbing and can be seen here) and wrote: “Racism is real and instead of close to home this time they came inside. My family is safe but we are saddened by the hate. Thanks to the Moonachie Police Department for all of your help! #Haters #Racism #AllLivesMatter #BlackLivesMatter #SidelineRacism.”
The first thing Whitlock, a second-year player out of Wake Forest, noticed was the swastika, which he has since covered to shield his 6-year-old son. Then he found the other messages in the apartment in which he and his family have lived for less than six months. Whitlock said he and his wife, Ashley, were only out for a few hours with their son and infant daughter. The burglars took jewelry and video game systems while leaving behind other electronics.
“It’s very disgusting actually, it’s very disheartening,” she told CBS. “You hear about things that do happen but you never think ‘Oh, this is going to happen to me.’ ”
Whitlock, who served a 10-game suspension at the start of the season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances, has been on the injured reserve list with a foot injury. The suspension was his second for the same substance and cost him $204,705 in salary.
Police continue to investigate the incident as well as the other incident, which occurred over the Thanksgiving weekend. The Whitlocks say they have been planning to move even before the first break-in. This one raises the level of insecurity that a burglary leaves in victims to a new level, though.
“It’s about to be 2017,” Nikita Whitlock said. “Oppression, violence, racism, hatred, violence – there’s no need for that.”
(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Cindy Boren