Massachusetts sports has always carried a thin veneer of proper social construct that can quickly be shattered with the sway of the score.
However, the vulgarity show prevalent in professional sports fans at the famed Fenway Park and the Boston Garden has crept into Massachusetts high school sports.
According to The Washington Post, a game between the Roxbury Prep High School Wolves and the Georgetown Middle High School Royals got rowdy after racial slurs were hurled.
Lovely weather for Friday night lights.
I’m at Roxbury Prep taking in the scene as they host Millis one week after the alleged harassment and ensuing skirmish at Georgetown. @GlobeSchools @GlobeMetro pic.twitter.com/IIkhq2t9Bj
— Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7) September 24, 2021
The litany of racially charged insults ran the gamut from monkey noises and derogatory slurs to the ultimate trigger, the N-word. Eventually, a fight broke out over a barrage of racial slurs.
Roxbury is a historic Black and Latino neighborhood in Boston. It is one of three significant neighborhoods for Black and Brown people in the city, with Dorchester and Jamaica Plain.
Georgetown Middle School is a public school located in Georgetown, Massachusetts, in a large suburban setting. The school’s student body is 96.6 percent white and 1.9 percent Black and 1.5 percent 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, the Roxbury head coach, detailed the incident.
McGinnis and his assistant coaches reported the slurs and harassment in the Sept. 17 game.
McGinnis also serves as the school’s dean of students.
'racially charged'??? you can do better than this, @BostonGlobe.
the roxbury prep players told coaches the slurs began in the first half and things got so bad in the second half they were coming to the sideline with tears in their eyes. https://t.co/39CaIoVZY5
— shalise manza young (@shalisemyoung) September 21, 2021
Just before halftime, one of his players said a member of the opposition called him the N-word twice. According to McGinnis, he reported the incident to the head referee and one of his assistants.
The ref promised to speak to the Royals. But McGinnis wasn’t sure that “the seriousness of the situation took hold.” The concerned coach told his players during halftime that they should respond “using our pads.”
But the harassment didn’t stop.
When Things Fall Apart
After halftime, more Roxbury players reported Georgetown players hurling racial slurs; Wolves players were even being compared to apes and monkeys.
Then, allegedly, the Georgetown fans got closer behind the visiting players’ bench to interact with Wolves players. Once an assistant coach instructed fans to distance themselves, he was also called the N-word.
In support of Coach Willie McGinnis and the Roxbury Prep High School Wolves #RoxburyPrep #Wolves. We have your back. We believe in you and every member of your team. Remember the #NEpatriots had a season with only 1 win.
— Joe Rich (@OfficeOfReality) September 29, 2021
The Roxbury parents reportedly tried to form a blockade between the players and the crowd. But it wasn’t enough. Eventually, tensions boiled over, and a brawl broke out in the third quarter on the field between the teams.
Even when McGinnis and the Wolves coaches went to break it up, they heard a Royals player repeat the N-word. Although McGinnis wanted the game to continue, he decided to pull his team out after the harassment continued.
The walk back to the locker rooms was another point of contention. The N-word rolled fast and hard. Eventually, the Roxbury players were escorted out of town by Georgetown police.
The Georgetown Public Schools superintendent reportedly is working with school officials and the Georgetown Police Department and is planning to bring in an independent investigator.
🧵 The silence is deafening. Black and Brown children from @RoxburyPrepCS, from our city were subjected to racist attacks. And, yet, on this website and from city leaders – almost nothing. Where is the outcry? Where is the “allyship?” https://t.co/ydC47VEDSD
— Will Austin (@willfaustin) September 25, 2021
Prejudiced mouths turned into ‘Twitter fingers’ with online beef between the schools as videos of the fights hit social media. Then the accusations of an administrator-to-student brutality arose.
Georgetown residents and supporters accused McGinnis and another coach of pulling 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 there was nothing I could do to protect my boys hurt the most. I broke down, I watched racism ruin something that was supposed to be good to them.”