High School Soccer Team Accused of Yelling Racial Slurs at Black Players Travels to Away Games With Armed Guards

Illustration for article titled High School Soccer Team Accused of Yelling Racial Slurs at Black Players Travels to Away Games With Armed Guards
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Last month, soccer players at Connellsville Area High School in Connellsville, Pa., were accused of directing racial slurs at black players during a game against Penn Hills High School in Pittsburgh. The Connellsville players and coaches denied this. A hearing featuring students, parents, coaches and administrators from both sides was held Sept. 24, and it was determined that ... shit, you need to read this yourself because I still don’t know what the hell was determined.


From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

“What the board was able to discern, based on the information and based on the credible testimony of the Penn Hills players, is that there were, in all probability, some negative interactions on the field,” said WPIAL executive director Tim O’Malley. “But it was the board’s position that they were, in all probability, isolated and not reflective of Connellsville, their soccer program and their school.”

Basically, “there were very fine people, on both sides.”

Anyway, the season continued, and when it was Connellsville’s turn to play at Penn Hills, these very fine people apparently brought armed guards with them.

A month after the Connellsville Area School District soccer players were accused of using racial slurs against Penn Hills soccer players, the two districts are at odds once again.

Connellsville sent armed school police officers to away soccer games and an away volleyball game at Penn Hills in recent days—a move that upset the Penn Hills School District’s superintendent and multiple Penn Hills parents.

“It makes no sense. I could see if their players had been subject to something here. But our players were concerned about player and parents in the stands behavior towards them and your reaction is to send armed guards when you come here. That seems completely irrational,” said Penn Hills parent Peter Morgan.

Full disclosure: I graduated from Penn Hills. And while it’s been 21 years since then (Shit!), I don’t recall soccer and volleyball games getting so rowdy that S.W.A.T. presence was necessary.

But Connellsville is 50 miles southeast of Pittsburgh and is 96 percent white. Penn Hills is nine miles east of downtown Pittsburgh and is 68 percent black. It’s not technically an inner-city school, but it possesses many characteristics of one. And this entire story is just one of the way too many examples of black people facing a racial injustice, the racists receiving no substantive consequences for their acts, and then the racists acting like they’re the victims. They’re the ones who were made to feel unsafe. They’re the ones who need to be worried. They’re the ones who were so frightened that they need to bring guns to a fucking soccer game.


They’re right, of course. They do need protection, but just not from us.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)


Wow, maybe if you get caught yelling racist slurs you’re off the team? The school should have forfitted, not sent butthurt armed forces with no real authority to an away game. They should have been stopped at the door.