Winooski student-athletes reportedly targeted by racial slurs during football match

WINOOSKI, Vt. (WCAX) – A high school football game is now under investigation for racist behavior after players at Winooski High School say they received insults from opposing players and fans.

Winooski’s superintendent calls out three players from the Enosburg high school football team and spectators for what he calls “obnoxious, violent and racist language” towards the students of color on the Winooski team. And he says it’s not the first time this has happened.

The Winooski boys’ soccer team celebrated one goal in their game on Wednesday, a team filled with new Americans and students of color who made it on the field. But a few days earlier, these same players had been verbally assaulted in another game, against Enosburg Falls High School.

Winooski Superintendent Sean McMannon released a lengthy statement claiming that Enosburg players and fans directed racial slurs and Winooski players, including the “N-word”, “monkey” and “terrorist”.

McMannon also said the referee ignored reports from players that they were racially abused and kicked and elbowed the ball.

In a statement, McMannon said in part, “This continuing racial violence against Winooski’s student-athletes is making me sick, boiling my blood and must stop. It dehumanizes and perpetuates a “less than” attitude towards our students who are some of the most talented, intelligent and resilient human beings I have ever known. “

The Franklin Northeast Supervisory Union Superintendent responded to reports of the allegations saying the district condemns racism and violence in all its forms. The statement reads in part: “It was reported that our students may have used racial slurs during a very physical football game in Winooski this weekend. We are currently investigating allegations regarding the conduct of our students. If racist slurs have been used, we will take appropriate disciplinary action and provide targeted educational intervention. “

The Vermont Principals Association admitted on Friday that it was aware of the allegations and was investigating.

McMannon is also calling on the VPA to implement strong anti-racism training for middle and high school athletic officials and coaches.

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