Soccer game

Allegations of racial slurs and violence Mar Vermont Youth Soccer Game – NECN

A recent youth football game in Vermont became painful for many involved, with ongoing investigations into reports of racial slurs and brutal beatings on the field of play.

The problem is what happened in a Sept. 18 men’s college football game at Winooski, which Winooski won 3-2.

Winooski is the only school district in Vermont where more than half of the students are black, Asian or from other non-white groups, according to school records.

Over the weekend, in a long statementWinooski Schools Superintendent Sean McMannon said three opponents from the visiting team, Enosburg Falls High School, as well as some spectators, used racial slurs against Winooski’s players.

These included the N-word, McMannon wrote.

In his message to the community, McMannon acknowledged the brutality on both sides, but wrote that this insult is “an act of violence equal if not greater than a physical punch.”

McMannon also called on the Vermont Principals’ Association, Vermont’s school athletics governing body, to establish stronger anti-racism policies across its athletics programs.

The VPA said Monday it is committed to safety and fairness for all children and is actively working on several milestones that Winooski wants to see happen.

Those measures include mandatory anti-bias training for coaches and game officials and tools for reporting racist incidents, said Jay Nichols, executive director of the Vermont Principals’ Association.

Hussein Amuri, a Winooski graduate who is now in college, testified last year before the school board that football players have long faced harmful language at games.

“During our football games, we have people — white parents — saying really racial stuff,” Amuri said in July 2020. “Do you know what it does to a person’s identity to be called the N-word? This must stop. This must stop.

In the most recent incident, the visiting players have their own accusations that an Enosburg player was hit hard in the head during the game by a Winooski athlete.

“The district is investigating both sets of allegations,” Lynn Cota, superintendent of the Franklin Northeast Supervisory Union, wrote in response to an inquiry. “If either is found to be true, we will take all possible disciplinary action to hold the parties accountable.”

Cota went on to say that racism and physical violence do not belong on sports fields or any other school facility. She indicated that no possible disciplinary action could take place before the conclusion of the investigation.

In the meantime, a show of solidarity is expected at Tuesday night’s game in Winooski, with members of the community saying racism has no place in their town.