Within hours of each other, a pair of Iowa high schools launched independent investigations into alleged racial and gay slurs by football players during separate incidents this past weekend.
Football teams at Ankeny (Iowa) Centennial and Carroll (Iowa) are under investigation by the schools for their alleged racist and homophobic remarks, respectively, according to media reports.
Des Moines (Iowa) Roosevelt officials claim a Centennial player spouted a racial slur at Roosevelt junior lineman Matthew Daniels during a handshake line after the team from Ankeny’s 54-7 win.
According to multiple reports, Daniels’ mother Victoria posted the following to Facebook:
“After beating us by lots and lots and lots of points, one of the Ankeny Centennial players greeted my son, who is probably the nicest boy in the world, as follows in the handshake line: f___ you, n_____. I guess I’m naive. I’d hoped this generation was beyond that, but you know what? I’m sending out some love to that misguided young man right now because clearly there is something not right in his heart. I hope he finds peace.”
Ankeny Centennial is investigating the incident and issued a written apology to Roosevelt, according to KCCI-TV. “We take any suggestion of bullying and harassment very seriously,” Ankeny schools spokeswoman Samantha Kampman said in a statement to The Des Moines Register.
Meanwhile, the Carroll football team is being investigated after a number of players allegedly used gay slurs in a group chat after a gay classmate was named to the homecoming court, per KCCI-TV.
According to the local television station, one Carroll football player suggested in a group text message that the gay student should “kill himself, or go die,” and another threatened to drop out of school if the student remained on the homecoming court. The texts were allegedly sent Friday night, after top-10 ranked Carroll defeated Glenwood (Iowa), 21-12, to move to 3-0 on the season.
“Some of the comments were made in the haste of a moment and probably from a jealousy standpoint. They were slurs regarding homosexuality,” Carroll superintendent Rob Cordes told The Des Moines Register. “Unfortunately, when you deal with kids 14 to 18 years old, some are going to make bad choices. It’s an unfortunate incident that happened and everybody involved is upset at it, including the students that made the comments. If they could undo it they would but we can continue to educate them on the topic.”
The gay student assured Carroll’s administration he felt safe, and the players involved in the group text remain on the football team as the school continues its investigation, according to the paper.
If the Ankeny Centennial investigation determines a student-athlete said what’s being alleged and Carroll’s investigation demonstrates that multiple student-athletes sent the texts in question, nothing short of a full ban from high school athletics this year is acceptable for all parties. At least if you ask me.