GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Police in western Massachusetts are investigating a threat made against a high school football player after the student kneeled during the national anthem at a recent game.

The Berkshire Eagle ( ) reports that Great Barrington Police Chief William Walsh says police are taking the incident “very seriously” and are working to assess whether the comments are considered hate speech.

The Monument Mountain Regional High School player “took a knee” during the national anthem at a Sept. 23 game in Athol (ATH’-uhl).

On Sept. 26, authorities say a student reportedly made hateful, threatening comments to the player that referenced lynching. The player reported the incident to school authorities.

Superintendent Peter Dillon says the school’s administration is looking into the matter.

Walsh says the FBI is aware of the case.

Information from: The Berkshire (Mass.) Eagle,