Ohio State recruit's tee says: 'I hope I don't get killed for being black today'

Ohio State recruit Tyreke Smith. (Source: ElevenWarriors)
Ohio State recruit Tyreke Smith. (Source: ElevenWarriors)
Updated: Jun. 22, 2017 at 12:23 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A Cleveland Heights football player and Buckeye recruit is making quite a statement, and he hasn't even hit the playing field yet.

Tyreke Smith, 17, a junior and four-star defensive end at Cleveland Heights High School, took part in Saturday's camp at Ohio State University but it was what he wore that's getting all the attention.

Smith's t-shirt read: "I hope I don't get killed for being black today."

Being from northeast Ohio, many believed his shirt was in reference to Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old who was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer in 2014.

But that was not the case. Smith told ElevenWarriors, "I decided to wear the shirt because I wanted to bring attention to the epidemic of blacks being killed at an alarming rate. What we would like to do is have people talk about these issues to reduce the murder rate of African-Americans."

In addition to the media, hundreds of prospects and parents were at the camp. Smith wanted to raise awareness, he knew he would be photographed and that was a big reason for him deciding to wear the shirt.

Smith said his older brother Malik designed the shirt and he's selling them via direct message on Twitter.

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