Two Middle Tennessee football players are being investigated for animal cruelty after being captured on a Snapchat video hitting a dog repeatedly, according to local NBC affiliate WSMV.
Police say linebacker Shalom Alvarez is seen hitting the dog at least five times while the dog cries in pain. Teammate Justin Atkins posted the video on his Snapchat with the comment "[Expletive] said you don't pay rent."
The dog did not belong to either football player.
Video of the incident was recorded on another person's iPad being being reported to authorities. Snapchats disappear after 24 hours.
Coach Rick Stockstill was made aware of the incident and issued the following statement to WSMV:
"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 players remain on the Middle Tennessee State football roster.