A girls basketball playoff game in Maryland will be held at a neutral site and closed to the public on Thursday after racial comments were allegedly made toward one team’s players during a previous meeting in January.
As the Washington Post reports, the Class 3A section final between Frederick and Linganore (Frederick) will be limited to the players, coaches and a select number of family members. Athletic directors, principles and other staff will also be present, while the remainder of the public will not.
“Our most important consideration was safety of our student athletes,” Michael Doerrer, Frederick County Public School District’s communications director, told the Post.
There are options for others to watch the game, as it will be live streamed on YouTube for the community. The game will stay in Frederick, but will now be held at BB&T Arena at Hood College. According to what Doerrer told the Post, this will be the first time a game has moved to a neutral site and streamed online under these circumstances.
“Some [people] are supportive and understand why it is necessary, and others are expressing frustration with limited spectators,” Doerrer said.
During the two teams’ last meeting on Jan. 19 at Linganore, there were reports that Frederick players were the subject of racial slurs and insults from adult fans during a 58-51 road victory.
According to the Post, the majority of Frederick’s players are black, while the majority of Linganore’s players are white.
After receiving dozens of reports regarding the hostile fan behavior, Frederick County Public Schools investigated the allegations. Doerrer told the Post that there were no reports of actual students making racial slurs or insults directed at any other student athletes, but rather that the majority of the reports were of adults making the comments.
Superintendent Theresa Alban visited the Frederick team last week to continue to listen to their concerns, Doerrer told the Post.