Recently, Disney has been trying to crack down on what it calls "ganglike activity" taking place at its Downtown Disney attraction. In case you've never been there, it's an open space with lots of shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. Disney has a no-loitering policy in place there, though it seems like it would be somewhat difficult to enforce due to the way it's set up.
Over the past two weekends, Disney really "turned up the heat", and ended up issuing 48 warnings in that timespan. They also ejected and permanently banned 46 people during that time. It turns out that four of the people ejected and banned are top football prospects for the Florida State Seminoles.
"Walt Disney World ejected four of Florida State University's top football prospects from Downtown Disney last weekend under its anti-gang, no-loitering policy.
The four, including the son of a Disney manager and the son of a Philadelphia civil-rights lawyer, were banned for life from Disney World property late Friday.
A Disney spokeswoman said the youths were expelled because they had been loitering for an extended period and refused to leave when Disney security told them to."
The four kids are going to be seniors this fall, and have all made oral commitments to play for FSU. They are:
Vincent Williams: #10 ranked inside linebacker(rivals.com)
Avis Commack: #51 ranked wide receiver(rivals.com)
Nigel Carr: #3 ranked outside linebacker(rivals.com)
Nick Moody: #5 ranked safety(rivals.com)
While it would be easy for me to poke fun at FSU fans for their recruits getting trouble, it does sound like the Disney employees may have been engaging in some racial profiling. Per the Orlando Sentinel article:
"Three cases involved white teens. Of those, two were banned only from the Virgin Megastore and are free to return anytime to Disney. Records show the only white teen banned so far from Disney was accused of creating a disturbance outside the Planet Hollywood restaurant by loitering, arguing with Disney guards, swearing at them and refusing to leave the property."
It will be interesting to see how this unfolds because Moody's father is a civil rights attorney, and Williams' mother works for Disney. Oftentimes people complain(many times rightfully so) that athletes, and celebrities in general, don't get punished harshly enough, however in this case being an athlete that was punished harshly might serve the greater good if it's uncovered that Disney did engage in profiling, and the kids are able to return to the attraction and receive an apology.