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Wrestlers' photograph sparking controversy

PHILLIPSBURG, New Jersey (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Eight high school wrestlers in New Jersey are trying to explain a photograph that's now sparked outrage nationwide.

The photograph in question shows seven Phillipsburg High School wrestlers posing with a black wrestling dummy hanging by a noose.

The eighth wrestler took the photo.

Their attorney said the teens did not intend to be racist.

"Our sole purpose was to promote school spirit and portray our wrestling team as victor over two of our arch rivals, Paulsboro High School and Kittatinny High School, and not for any other purpose," said Attorney Scott Wilhelm.

The students were punished with three-day suspensions from school.

They're also not being allowed to take part in a district tournament this weekend.

They could face a criminal investigation by local police.