WINOOSKI, Vermont (WCAX) — A high school football game is now being investigated for racist behavior after players at Winooski High School said they were insulted by opposing players and fans.
Winooski’s superintendent is calling out three Enosburg High School football team players and spectators for what he calls “abhorrent, violent, and racist language” toward students of color on Winooski’s team. And he says it’s not the first time this has happened.
The Winooski boys’ soccer team celebrated a goal in their game on Wednesday, a squad filled with new Americans and college students of color who have been successful on the field. But a few days earlier, these same players had been verbally abused during another game, against Enosburg Falls High School.
Winooski Superintendent Sean McMannon released a lengthy statement in which he claims Enosburg players and fans have directed racial slurs at Winooski players, including the “N-word”, “monkey” and ” terrorist”.
McMannon also says the referee ignored reports from the players that they were victims of racist abuse and kicking and elbowing the ball.
In a statement, McMannon said, in part, “This continued racial violence against Winooski student-athletes sickens my stomach, makes my blood boil, and needs to stop. It dehumanizes and perpetuates a ‘less than’ attitude towards our students who are some of the most talented, intelligent and resilient human beings I have ever known.
The Franklin Northeast Supervisory Union superintendent responded to reports of the allegations by saying the district condemns racism and violence in all its forms. The statement reads in part as follows: “There have been reports that our students may have used racial slurs during a very physical football game at Winooski over the weekend. We are currently investigating allegations regarding the conduct of our students. If racial slurs have been used, we will take appropriate disciplinary action and provide targeted educational intervention. »
The Vermont Principals Association acknowledged Friday that it is aware of the allegations and is investigating.
McMannon is also calling on the VPA to implement robust anti-racism training for college and high school sports officials and coaches.
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