Two Middle Tennessee State University football players are being investigated by the Murfreesboro Police Department for animal cruelty after shocking video shows one of the players hitting a defenseless puppy.
Snapchat video recorded by a citizen from her iPad shows MTSU linebacker Shalom Alvarez hitting a dog. Police say Alvarez grabbed the dog from under the bed and forcefully hit it at least five times. The video was uploaded to defensive lineman Justin Akins’ Snapchat.
Akins, a redshirt senior, posted the video with the caption a redshirt senior football player, posted the video with the comment “***** said you don’t pay rent.”
Middle Tennessee State head coach Rick Stockstill released a statement about the video:
“I am aware of the situation and have talked to the players involved. The players explained to me that the puppy urinated inside and they were simply spanking it as a form of discipline. They told me there was never any intent to harm the dog. This was an important teaching moment. I talked to them about other approaches that should have been considered in this situation. And I pointed out how disciplining a pet in such a manner could be misconstrued, especially with the impact of social media.”
Both Akins and Alvarez have been suspended from the team. As for Akins, this isn’t the first time he’s been in trouble, as he was arrested back in January for resisting arrest and possession of marijuana.