Racial slurs and brawl stop Massachusetts high school football game

Screenshot of a fight between Roxbury Prep and Georgetown Middle School Football Game

Massachusetts sports have always worn a thin veneer of proper social construction that can quickly be broken by the influence of scoring.

However, the show of vulgarity prevalent among professional sports fans at famed Fenway Park and Boston Garden has crept into high school sports in Massachusetts.

Culture shock

According to the Washington Post, a match between the Roxbury Prep High School Wolves and the Georgetown Middle High School Royals turned noisy after racial slurs were hurled.

The litany of racist slurs ran the gamut from monkey noises and derogatory slurs until the ultimate trigger, the N word. Eventually, a brawl broke out over a barrage of racial slurs.

Roxbury is a historic black and Latino neighborhood in Boston. It is one of the city’s three important black and brown neighborhoods, along with Dorchester and Jamaica Plain.

Georgetown Middle School is a public school located in Georgetown, Massachusetts, in a large suburb. The school’s student body is 96.6% white, 1.9% black, and 1.5% Latino.

Roxbury Prep’s student body is 97 percent black and Latino.

In the eye of the storm

The Washington Post described how Willie McGinnis, Roxbury’s head coach, detailed the incident.

McGinnis and his assistant coaches reported the insults and harassment during the September 17 game.

McGinnis also serves as the school’s dean of students.

Just before half-time, one of his players said that an opposition member had called him the N word twice. According to McGinnis, he reported the incident to the head referee and to one of his assistants.

The referee has promised to speak to the Royals. But McGinnis wasn’t sure “the gravity of the situation is setting in.” The coach concerned told his players at half-time that they had to respond “using our pads”.

But the harassment did not stop.

When things fall apart

After halftime, more Roxbury players reported that Georgetown players had used racial slurs; Wolf players were even compared to monkeys and monkeys.

Then, allegedly, Georgetown fans moved closer behind the visiting players’ bench to interact with the Wolves players. Once an assistant coach asked fans to distance themselves, he was also called the N word.

Roxbury’s parents have reportedly tried to form a blockade between the players and the crowd. But it was not enough. Finally, tensions overflowed and a fight broke out in the third quarter on the field between the teams.

Even when McGinnis and Wolves coaches went to break up, they heard a Royals player repeat the N word. Although McGinnis wanted the game to continue, he decided to withdraw his team after the harassment continued.

The consequences

Returning to the locker room was another point of contention. The N word rolled around fast and loud. Eventually, the Roxbury players were escorted out of town by Georgetown Police.

The headmaster of Georgetown Public Schools is reportedly working with school officials and the Georgetown Police Department and is considering bringing in an independent investigator.

Damaging mouths turned into “Twitter fingers” with online beef between schools as videos of the fighting were posted on social media. Then the accusations of brutality from the administrator to the student arose.

Georgetown residents and supporters accused McGinnis and another coach of shooting and throwing a Georgetown player to the ground in a Facebook group.

“I’m still numb, but this is America,” Roxbury assistant coach Jamaal Hunt said on Facebook. “The fact that I can’t do anything to protect my boys hurts me the most. I broke down, I saw racism ruin something that was meant to be good for them.


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About Betty J. Snyder

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