Wellesley fans allegedly shout racial slurs during high school basketball game

High school sports

“No one deserves to be treated this way, especially the student athletes who travel to our district to compete.”

Wellesley High School. Erin Clark/The Boston Globe

Wellesley High School is launching an investigation after students allegedly shouted racial slurs at black players on an opposing basketball team before a game on Friday night.

The incident allegedly took place during a warm-up for a boys’ basketball game against Weymouth High School, Wellesley High principal Jamie Chisum said in an email to students, staff and families on Monday.

Weymouth players heard the insults and spoke to their coaches, who informed officials at Wellesley High, Chisum said, calling the incident “deeply disturbing and unacceptable”. Boston.com has contacted the Weymouth High School Athletic Department for comment.

“We are all upset and disappointed that someone at our school may have engaged in the behavior of abusing others with racist language,” Chisum said.

He also noted that the Wellesley athletic department had to intervene in the crowd on several occasions, with a referee asking Wellesley High athletic director John Brown to move Wellesley fans off the field and further into the stands to avoid physical contact with Weymouth players.

“When the game ended a number of our fans rushed onto the pitch to celebrate and they were said to have taunted the Weymouth players who hadn’t even had a chance to go through the handshake line yet. “, wrote Chisum. “It was a potentially very dangerous situation.”

He said the school is conducting a full investigation and that students involved in the incident will be subject to disciplinary action.

In the meantime, students will only be allowed to participate in Tuesday’s boys’ basketball game against Brookline High School if they are seated with an adult, Chisum said, adding that the school will take other steps to control future crowds.

Wellesley is the latest of many school districts in Massachusetts to hold high school sporting events marked by racist and hateful language. Last year, Westford Academy temporarily banned spectators after Westford students were accused of using “racist language” at a Wayland student during a basketball game.

Georgetown High School, Xaverian Brothers High School and Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School have faced similar incidents in recent years.

In his own email to the Wellesley Public Schools community, Superintendent David Lussier said district administrators had been in touch with their Weymouth counterparts to apologise.

“It’s critical that we speak with a clear voice and call this behavior unacceptable and contrary to our core values ​​as a district,” Lussier said. “No one deserves to be treated this way, especially the student athletes who travel to our district to compete.”


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