MA high school cancels football games over racist graffiti
(CNN) — A Massachusetts high school football team canceled the rest of its season after someone scrawled a racial epithet on the home of one of its players.
“Knights don’t need [the n-word],” the slur read.
The Blue Knights are the football team at Lunenburg High School, a school 55 miles northwest of Boston.
The epithet was spray painted in large blue letters on the foundation of the ranch-style home where the team’s 13-year-old fullback lives.
The incident has brought the FBI to Lunenburg — and shone a national spotlight on the small town of about 10,000 that is not used to such a harsh glare.
“I don’t really understand why someone would even do something like this,” the 8th grader told CNN affiliate WCVB. “I have two younger brothers and a younger sister. This is our house, this is where we live. Eventually they’re going to see it.”
The boy’s mother is white; his father black, the station said.
The boy told the station he’s been dealing with other harassing incidents in recent weeks. His cleats were doused in water; the tire on his bicycle was slashed, he said.
“We wish to express our outrage and sorrow over the hateful and vile acts against one of our own,” the Lunenburg School Committee said in a press release.
“We assure you and our entire community that we will continue to work to ensure that hate has no place in our schools.”
School officials canceled last Friday’s game, and said they will forfeit the remaining two games — including the traditional Thanksgiving Day game.
“It would be highly inappropriate to play the remaining games while there is an ongoing investigation,” the committee said.
The team is 4-6 this season.
Authorities are also investigating whether racial slurs were hurled at a rival team by Lunenburg High School players during a football game earlier in the season.
The committee said its decision to forfeit the games was made the decision out of safety concerns “in the emotionally-charged environment that has been generated by these recent acts.”