Claims of racial taunts against a mostly black and Hispanic Boston-area high school football team are bogus, police say.
Last fall, coaches from Roxbury Prep alleged they and their team were “targeted repeatedly” by spectators’ taunts from rival Georgetown High School.
But according to 60 pages of documents from Georgetown police, there is no evidence to support these claims, the Boston Globe reports. If anything, the police report notes the game’s referees said they were subjected to “angry shouts” by the Roxbury coaches regarding their “racially discriminatory” officiating.
Police interviewed over 30 people who attended the game and not one said they heard racial slurs. One Georgetown fan who’s active in Black Lives Matter activities said that if she had heard any slurs she “would have addressed it right away.”
There are limitations to the police report, however, as it lacks testimony from Roxbury fans. The police investigation was suspended before such interviews took place as both Georgetown and Roxbury agreed to allow a former federal prosecutor to conduct an independent inquiry.
Roxbury spokeswoman Barbara Martinez said members of that school’s community “fully cooperated” with this investigation. “It was clear by all accounts that Roxbury Prep players, coaches, and family members complained throughout the game about racial epithets loudly voiced against them,” she said.
It did not go unnoticed before the game that Roxbury Prep’s players, nearly all Black or Hispanic, kneeled during the national anthem, while Georgetown’s stood and raised their helmets. Georgetown athletic director Ryan Browner told the police he “believes that may have been a contributing factor to the situation.”
The contest quickly proved lopsided, and as Georgetown surged to a 30-0 first-half lead, Roxbury Prep coaches shouted angrily at the game officials, suggesting they were racially discriminating against them, witnesses said. …
“The only hate I observed was from these two Roxbury coaches,” [Georgetown parent Manny] Gasca wrote. “One of the coaches clearly expressed his distrust in white referees from the start. In my opinion, this misconduct created the unfortunate incident.”
At halftime, the referee told police, Roxbury Prep head coach Willie McGinnis “approached me regarding his team being called the n-word.”
The referee asked the other game officials if they had heard any racial slurs. “All said they didn’t,” he wrote in a game report.
Roxbury coach Jamaal Hunt also alleged he and his team were “called N-bombs by players, faculty, staff, spectators.” At the beginning of the third quarter, game officials briefly stopped play while a police officer, Browner and Georgetown Principal Jeff Carovillano took up a position behind the Roxbury bench.
The latter two spoke with spectators and reported no one heard any racial epithets.
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