Te’shauria Akinleye: Black cheergirl kicked off school team by 'racist' coach for 'explicit' TikToks
The mother of a high school cheerleader from Knoxville, Tennessee, is blaming her daughter's "racist" coach after she got kicked off the team afrer he deemed her TikTok videos to be "sexually inappropriate."
Te’shauria Akinleye told ABC-affiliate WATE that she was recently removed from her high school cheer squad at Hardin Valley Academy in Knoxville, Tennessee after she was told by her coach that her social media posts were "not cheerleader appropriate". Akinleye added: "I know the video wasn’t very appropriate for the cheer team, but I wasn’t in uniform or anything." Her mother, Toksy Akinleye, backed her daughter, saying that she approves all of her daughter's videos before she posts them. “The cheer coach messaged Te’shauria and said, ‘Hey, this is not cheerleader appropriate for Hardin Valley or not appropriate for a Hardin Valley Cheerleader, delete it,'” she said. Some of the other cheerleaders who recently made news include Morgyn Arnold, Tristyn Bailey and Madi Hime.
Who is Te’shauria Akinleye?
Te’shauria goes by the Instagram handle @teshauria_b and currently has 73,500 followers on the platform. According to her profile, she is managed by Talent Trek & Hope Talent management company. Her account is mostly filled with her dance videos.
Te’shauria said that she misses her team after getting kicked off, as they were like her "family." She also added that she felt that there was a lack of communication and that her school could have handled the situation better. “I would have known what I needed to prevent from happening, or what I needed to prevent from doing in the videos, but I didn’t get that message so I didn’t know what I was doing wrong,” she said. She also wasn't explicitly told what "she needed to prevent from doing in the videos."
During her interview with the local news channel, Te’shauria said that she had been kicked off her past cheerleading team in her freshman year at Bearden High School. “I got into a little bit of drama there, that was my fault that I got kicked off the cheer team,” she said. “I don’t blame anything on anyone else.”
Last week, Te’shauria’s mom took to her daughter's Instagram to share her side of the story. Toksy explained, "three differences" between her daughter's video and other girls who did a similar dance on TikTok. Te’shauria has a more developed body with a fuller derrière therefore her body moves a little differently than that of her Caucasian teammate. "Te’shauria was dismissed from her high school cheer team for this IG post as they deemed her clothing/dance moves 'sexual' and inappropriate. Te’shauria’s high school cheer coach(es) took it upon themselves to report her mother to DCS for sexual exploitation of a child because of her daughter's IG dance post (investigated, unfounded, and dismissed), however her fellow Caucasian teammate's mother was not."
Is Te’shauria's coach racist?
The mother-daughter duo insisted that the dance videos posted by Te’shauria after her coach's message were modified to make them more appropriate. “The first TikTok was a full body and that’s the one they asked her to delete, the subsequent ones that she posted she cropped herself out from the waist up,” explained Toksy. However, it only accelerated the situation further as she received a phone call from the coach and his assistant on August 12.
“I got a phone call from the coach and the coach’s assistant and it started off with, you know, ‘Hey, we had that video that we asked Te’shauria to delete and we know she deleted it, but then since that time she’s had three subsequent videos which are sexually inappropriate or explicit,” Toksy said of the phone call which she received just a few days after the first, full-body video was posted. “There’s certain motions that she’s doing in those videos that we’ve told the girls they can’t do,” said Toksy said that she was told during the call. However, no further explanations were given as to what those motions were. After that, Te’shauria was off the squad.
After Toksy requested a meeting with school officials, she said a DCS worker and two Knox County sheriff’s deputies showed up on her driveway. “I was like, ‘did somebody call you about the videos?’ and she said, ‘Yeah, you know what we came for',” Toksy recounted. A letter from DCS reads in part: “DCS and law enforcement (LE-Knoxville Sheriff’s Office) have both investigated the allegation of sexual abuse to your daughter, Te’shauria Akinleye involving the posting/selling of inappropriate videos of your child and found the allegations to be unfounded.”
Toksy said she feels her daughter and the whole family were treated unfairly because of their race. “I think, to be honest, it’s because she’s Black,” she said. “If you look at some of the videos and compare her body and her dancing to some of the other girls and their body and their dancing, she has more of a body than they do.”