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The principal at Sullivan High School (Mo.) told a reporter she saw “nothing racial” about a group of students wearing blackface to play in a “powderpuff football” game on Nov. 5.

Principal Jennifer Schmidt said the senior girls traditionally wear face paint during the game to intimidate the underclassmen.

“And then I thought, ‘Oh, they don’t mean anything by it. Just let it go. No one thinks anything of it.’ I didn’t think anyone did,” Schmidt told the Riverfront Times.

From Riverfront Times:

Schmidt adds that it’s been common practice for the senior girls’ team to wear face paint during the powderpuff football tournament, essentially as a parody of the eye black football players normally wear to decrease glare from the sun and lights. The face paint also serves to “to intimidate the underclassmen.”

According to Schmidt, in previous years the girls have wore combinations of the schools’ colors — black and gold. But when the senior girls arrived prior to the November 5 game, they discovered everyone had brought the same color face paint — black.

“So that’s what they wore,” says Schmidt. “There was nothing racial about it. They didn’t have any other intention other than to just try to intimidate the underclassmen.”