Massachusetts HS Cancels Remainder of Football Season After Racist Bullying

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor INovember 19, 2013

Nov 17, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; A general view of Fertitta Field during the division III championship game between Mountain View and Pershing County at Bishop Gorman High. Pershing County won 56-6. Mandatory Credit: Josh Holmberg-USA TODAY Sports
Josh Holmberg-USA TODAY Sports

The remaining football games for Lunenburg High School in Massachusetts have been canceled following multiple accounts of racism toward one of its own players, as well as players on an opposing team. 

Per ESPN's Scott Barboza, the house of freshman Isaac Phillips, a member of the Lunenburg football team, was spray-painted with the message, "Knights don't need n------."

Phillips, whose mother is white and father half black, had reportedly also been the subject of bullying inside the school as well. According to the report, he had his cleats "removed from his locker, filled with water and thrown in the trash," and the tires on his bicycle were slashed. 

Moreover, Lunenburg's football team was already in the midst of an investigation after racial slurs were reportedly made toward Worcester South players a few weeks ago. According to The Boston Globe's Paula J. Owen, a fight surfaced between the teams as a result of that incident. 

According to a police department statement issued Saturday, the FBI has been called in to investigate the matter.

School district superintendent Loxi Jo Calmes made the following statement, via Barboza: 

We have no tolerance for racism in any form, and we do everything we can to eliminate it from our schools and our community.

Since the racial harassment investigations are on-going, I am announcing that the remaining football games of the season have been forfeited. The Lunenburg Public Schools continues investigating allegations related to racial slurs by Lunenburg players directed toward Worcester South players. The police continue to investigate the racial graffiti incident.

Canceling high school football games certainly isn't going to be a very popular decision, but the school district did what it felt was necessary considering the seriousness of these circumstances. 

Hopefully, the harsh punishment is enough to at least make the young kids realize the magnitude of their atrocious behavior. 

Of course, this incident comes at the same time of an ongoing NFL bullying controversy.   

Earlier this month, Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jonathan Martin left the team after reportedly being the subject of bullying from teammate Richie Incognito and others. After voice mails and text messages surfaced of Incognito using racial slurs toward Martin, the team suspended Incognito indefinitely.    

Stories like these are unfortunately becoming too common, but it's positive to see a school take a no-tolerance stance. 


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