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Fight, Racism at HS Football Game Spark Investigation

Brock Fritz

Last Friday’s Massachusetts high school football game between Roxbury Prep High School and Georgetown High School was canceled with eight minutes remaining due to a fight and allegations of racism.

Following the game, Roxbury Prep head coach and dean of students Willie McGinnis told WCVB5’s Mary Saladna that Roxbury coaches repeatedly raised the issue of racism throughout the game.

"The language used on Friday night has no place in our society and sure doesn't have a place in a game with high school students, who are trying to be better people by playing the game of football," McGinnis said.

Roxbury associate head coach and assistant athletic director David Duane added, "We brought it to the officials. We brought it to the principal, who was directly behind our bench as well, and nothing seemed to change until things got out of hand.”

Roxbury wide receivers coach Jamaal Hunt said in a Facebook post that, “The fact that there was nothing I could do to protect my boys hurt the most. I broke down, I watched racism ruin whats something that was supposed to be good to them, Friday night lights but instead we were ridiculed, called N bombs by players, faculty, staff, spectators and were taunted all night.”

The game got out of hand when Georgetown held a 44-8 lead late in the second half. Georgetown superintendent Carol Jacobs said in a statement that the physical altercation included “players from both teams and several coaches” and that Georgetown Police helped disperse the crowds.

“I want to clearly state that the Georgetown Public Schools will not tolerate racism in any form and is working with the Georgetown Police Department to investigate this allegation,” Jacobs added. “The district has reached out to the administration at Roxbury Prep Charter High School in an attempt to gather facts and resolve the issues.  There are clearly strong emotions and many different versions of what happened at this game that is swirling around on social media. I ask for calm and patience as we investigate this situation and arrive at a resolution that considers all of the facts and is satisfactory to all parties involved.”

Jacobs later told Saladna that the school district is hiring an independent investigator to look into the situation. No arrests were made in the immediate aftermath, but Georgetown police chief Donald C. Cudmore said the department is working with the Essex District Attorney’s Office to investigate.

A Roxbury Prep spokesperson released a statement that, "Harassment and intimidation in any form is unacceptable, and any racist treatment and lack of appropriate supportive response is 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.”

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