A Detroit-area high school football game turned in to a racial nightmare in late November, as players from Detroit Denby and Almont Community Schools prepared to face-off at the state finals.
The drama started during the national anthem when players from Denby decided to take a knee — taking a knee during the national anthem has become a flashpoint since Colin Kaepernick started the act as a form of protest to bring attention to police brutality against African Americans.
Denby, Dean Godfrey shared some of the racially-charged taunts that followed the student protest, “‘Look at these N-words taking a knee and they don’t even know why they’re doing it’, ‘wiggers’, and ‘who let them off their leashes? They need to be on a leash. They never should have been here in the first place.'”
The taunting didn’t stop there, as adult, men and women, spit and threw trash on the players as they walked up the ramp to leave the football stadium.
The events that took place during the November 23 game was an eye-opener, even for some white people. Kathy Sagert, who is white wrote on her Facebook, ”my children were appalled by the racist remarks and actions of the Almont fans from the very beginning of the game. They witnessed hatred and racism at its best. They were so shook after the game. Any adult who spits on a kid should be arrested.”
Thing escalated and became physical. Some of the Denby players were assaulted, locked in a caged area, and called monkeys, according to Bob Burg, a Denby counselor. “One of our young men was punched in the face by an Almont parent! After we were able to get our kids in a safe area they locked us all in a caged area in the corner of the field, when we just wanted to get the kids safely on our bus,” Burg wrote on Facebook. He also mentioned that an officer called a black student “a monkey.”
In a letter to parents and students, Almont Community Schools Superintendent William Kalmar confirmed plans to “investigate fully” the incident: “We are investigating fully allegations that members of the Almont Raiders Marching Band taunted players from Denby High School while both groups attempted to exit the stadium after the game was called by officials. At this time, we have no evidence of such behavior by members of our marching band, dance team, cheerleaders or student body.” Adding, “We are cooperating with the authorities in attempting to identify those spectators who may have aggravated the confrontation by taunting Denby players. There is no circumstance in which it is appropriate for an adult spectator to interject themselves into a high school event.”
Game officals went on to call the game in favor of Almont. Last Saturday supporters of Denby showed up at an Almont game to protest.
Video of the Denby supporter who security removed from the game has surfaced. “What are you gonna do? You gonna spit on me? You gonna call me the ‘N’ word? You gonna call me a monkey?” she’s heard saying to Almont fans at Ford Field. pic.twitter.com/CSQoCffhWl
— Brandon Folsom (@folsombrandonj) November 30, 2019
The Oakland Sheriff’s department is investigating.