There’s something so American about racial slurs being thrown around at a high school football game.
The competitive aggression that comes with our country’s favorite sport can really bring out the worst in teams and their fans. However, it’s just utterly ridiculous that players or fans could get so mad that they turn into racists, especially at a kids’ game. From monkey noises to derogatory insults, lately, high school games are where the n-word is thrown quicker than a football.
The head coach for the Roxbury Prep High School Wolves, Willie McGinnis, told the Washington Post that a fight between his team and the Georgetown Middle High School Royals at a Massachusetts high school game was over racial slurs.
According to the Post, McGinnis said he and his assistant coaches reported the slurs and harassment aimed at his team by Georgetown players in the game on Sept. 17.
From the Post:
McGinnis, 32, said the problem started just before halftime, when one of his players told him an opponent had called him the n-word twice. McGinnis, who also serves as his school’s dean of students, said he reported the incident to the head referee and one of his assistants. The ref promised to speak to the Royals, but McGinnis said he’s not sure “the seriousness of the situation took hold.”
As McGinnis’s players first reported being insulted with racist slurs, the coach said he told them during halftime to respond “using our pads.”
In the second half of the game, McGinnis says more of his students told him that Royals players were calling them racial slurs and comparing them to apes and monkeys. Allegedly, fans of the Royals also moved in behind their bench, attempting to interact with his players. When one of the assistant coaches told the fans to move back, McGinnis says the coach was called the n-word. Parents of Roxbury Wolves players attempted to form a line between the players on the bench and the crowd.
In the third quarter, a fight broke out between both teams on the field. When McGinnis and other coaches rushed to break it up, he says he heard a Royals player say the n-word. The Post notes that he allowed the game to continue for a while, but the alleged harassment from the opposing team continued so he decided to pull his team out.
As the Wolves headed toward the locker room, the head coach said he heard chants of the n-word. The Roxbury Prep Wolves were escorted out of town by Georgetown police.
Tensions between the schools have risen in the days following the game as allegations and videos of the brawl make rounds on social media. Georgetown residents in a Facebook group accused McGinnis and another coach of pulling a Georgetown student off one of the Wolves players and throwing him to the ground. McGinnis told the Post he would neither confirm nor deny that he did.
ABC affiliate WCVB reported that a spokesperson from Roxbury Prep issued a statement calling the events on Friday unacceptable and Georgetown’s “lack of response” disturbing. “We call on the Georgetown district to fully collaborate with us to investigate this incident and to take strong actions to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again. Our priority will remain the safety and well-being of our community as we continue to advocate for racial justice, love and respect,” the statement said.
Carol Jacobs, Georgetown Public Schools Superintendent, told WCVB last week that she is working with school officials and the Georgetown Police Department to figure out all the details. She also plans to bring in an independent investigator.