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ADL 'Shocked' Over Pace University Football Captain's Nazi Salute Photo

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A Pace University student is in hot water after a controversial photo of him surfaced online.

The photo in question was captioned "The Grand Wizard" and showed the student, senior Tyler Owens, draped in a confederate flag while making a Nazi salute.

The photo surfaced on the app Snapchat and was reportedly released to the media by a group of African-American students, the school newspaper The Pace Chronicle, reported.

Owens' ex-girlfriend has also denied having leaked the photo, the paper reported.

"We are shocked that a student in an athletic leadership role would pose for a photo wrapped in a Confederate flag making a Nazi salute," Evan R. Bernstein, Anti-Defamation League New York Regional Director  said in a statement Friday.

"His behavior highlights the need for ongoing education to ensure that university students fully understand the roots of racism, anti-Semitism, and the consequences of unchecked bigotry and hate."

Pace University removed Owens as team captain and suspended him pending an investigation.

"The photograph is highly offensive and contrary to the values of diversity, inclusiveness and embracing the ethnic and cultural differences among students, faculty and staff that are deeply held at Pace University," said Pace President Stephen J. Friedman in an email to the paper.

The University hosted an open forum Thursday  to "engage the campus community in dialogue" regarding the photo, the paper reported.

Owens declined to be interviewed, the paper reported.

Head Football Coach Andrew Rondeau and Athletics Director Mark Brown, declined to comment given the ongoing investigation, the paper reported.

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