The Lunenburg High School football team in Massachusetts will forfeit the remainder of its games this season following a recent incident in which a player was the target of a "racist hate crime," according to The Boston Globe's Paula J. Owen.
Isaac A. Phillips, 13, alleges that his teammates are responsible for racist graffiti found on his family's home last week. According to CNN's Lateef Mungin, the epithet, which was spray-painted in large blue letters, read as follows: "Knights don't need [the n-word]."
Lunenburg High School's nickname is the Blue Knights.
The school superintendent, Loxi Jo Calmes, announced the team's punishment on Monday and offered gratitude to the community for showing its support for the victim and his family at a vigil held this past weekend, per Owen:
The educators and coaches of Lunenburg value diversity, and we care deeply about all of our students. We have no tolerance for racism in any form, and we do everything we can to eliminate it from our schools and our community.
Numerous members of the faculty and staff were in attendance at the vigil [Sunday] night, along with the entire football coaching staff and team. We have also sought out the assistance of the Anti-Defamation League to assist us in delivering additional educational programs for students to teach tolerance.
Among the remaining games that have been canceled is Lunenburg's beloved Thanksgiving matchup against St. Bernard's High School.
This incident is not the first time Lunenburg players have come under fire from allegations pertaining to racial slurs. According to Owen, Calmes has confirmed that there has been an investigation launched into claims that several Lunenburg players aimed racial slurs at members of the Worcester South High Community School football team earlier this season.
The local police's investigation into the recent "act of hate" will be aided by the FBI, State Police and the district attorney's office. Police Chief James P. Marino has acknowledged that authorities are making progress and announced that a statement will be issued if any arrests are made.
Lunenburg High School is located in a small town of roughly 10,000 and is slightly more than 55 miles northwest of Boston.
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