An Auckland, New Zealand high school official declined the opportunity to have controversial rapper The Game speak to his students this week.
Peter Gall, the principal at Papatoetoe High, told a local newspaper that his decision to prevent the Interscope recording artist from appearing on campus was made in line with school policy.
As part of a contest sponsored by local radio station Mai FM, Auckland high schools were given the opportunity to compete for a chance to have The Game come speak to students on Wednesday (August 12) before his performance at the Logan Campbell Centre in the New Zealand capital.
While Papatoetoe High won the contest, Gall feels allowing Game to speak to the teens would spread the wrong message because of his criminal background and history.
I understand that this fellow may have a bit of an unsavoury background, Gall told the New Zealand Herald. While I am very pleased and proud that we won the competition, I would doubt that we would take up the offer. I have nothing against him, but I am very much against what he has done in the past. Its not right, its unhealthy.
In addition to The Games openness about his gang ties, Kiwi school officials were put off by his admitted criminal activities when he was a high school student himself. The rapper, born Jayceon Taylor, claims that as a student, he sold crack cocaine and marijuana.
Officials were also concerned with Games most recent run in with the law, a 2008 incident during which he was accused of pulling a gun on an opponent during a pick up basketball game at the Rita Walters Educational Complex in Los Angeles.
He pleaded no contest to the charges and was sentenced to 60 days in jail, 150 hours of community service and three years probation.
The Games L.A.X. Tour made headlines last month when authorities in Rotorua, New Zealand announced they would have a significant presence at his August 15 show, to deal with potential gang violence.
Rotorua Police Commander Bruce Horne expressed the departments disappointment that the show had been booked, saying that he understood why the community was concerned.
We know from experience having these sorts of performers is not helpful in terms of community safety, Horne added. His message is a very bad one. He is certainly not someone I would be promoting as a role model for our young people. In fact, he is quite the opposite. He encourages them to get themselves into trouble.
Despite all the controversy, Game, who performed five incident-free dates in Australia last week, tweeted about a heros welcome in New Zealand Tuesday (August 11).
Just got the craziest welcoming in New Zealand, he shared with his followers upon leaving the airport, tribal dances & the whole 9 yards damn, it feel good to be G.A.M.E.