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.
Parents of the youths wonder whether there's another reason: They're black.
"I keep thinking to myself, 'This is crazy,' " said Mark Nugent, stepfather of Vincent Williams, football star at Ridge Community High School in Polk County. "Once they realized they weren't gangbangers, why didn't they let them go? They took their pictures. They fingerprinted them. And treated them like common criminals."
Because of concerns about a rise in ganglike activity at Downtown Disney lately, loitering or "any other inappropriate behavior" by groups of youths is not going to be tolerated, spokeswoman Jacquee Polak said Tuesday.
"This group was seen loitering for an extended period of time," she said. "When asked, sometime after 11:30, they produced a movie ticket for a film that had already started sometime earlier. Security asked them to go to the movie or leave, and they failed to cooperate."
Philadelphia attorney Adrian J. Moody, father of one of the players, said he thinks his son was a victim of racial profiling.
"Why else would they follow them for an hour and a half to two hours?" said Moody, whose son, Nickolas Moody, listed on the police report as Nickolas Cannon, plays safety for Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia. "And how can you trespass someone in Downtown Disney for walking around? I've been there before, and that's why it's there."
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