Black varsity football players from a Long Island high school are alleging racism from a predominantly White rival team, ABC News reports.
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Members of Amityville High School‘s football team say they’ve felt racist undercurrents when playing other teams. However, they claim things heated up during a playoff game last November.
Watch a news report about the fight here:
A fight broke out between Amityville and Comsewogue High Schools, causing the game’s cancellation. Three Amityville players claim Comsewogue players and officials taunted and attacked them while referees did nothing to stop it.
“They swarmed our players. They tried to hurt us. I was swarmed by not one, but 3 to 4 players, you know,” said Travon Duncan (pictured).
Duncan told ABC that Comsewogue’s coach “grabbed me, viciously grabbed me, and he said in my ear, loud and clear, (N Word), I will kill you.”
He also claimed the fight was more of a blatant attack on Amityville. “I guess you know, there are some people, you know, who say stuff like this. Obviously it was kind of a brawl,” he added. “But it wasn’t a brawl. We were assaulted. We didn’t want to fight as you see in the video.”
Teammate Ricky Jean-Michel says the Comsewogue coach threatened him as well: “And I remember the coach in my face, grabs me by the chest plate, he says I’m gonna F’ing kill you.”
Jean-Michel said the Consewogue players threw racial epithets and threats at them earlier in the game. “Before the halftime break, the kids are getting in our faces, like ‘Yea it’s coming for you all game, all game, (n word) this (n word) that,” he said.
Added player Niem Harvey about Consewogue’s coach: “He grabs me and how he grabbed me, I was choking, So he’s choking me and they didn’t do nothing to stop his player from still attacking me, so this player’s hitting me.”
A statement by one of Amityville’s coaches supported the players’ claims, saying he saw “a few of Cosmewogue’s coaching staff throwing punches, shoving and preventing our players from getting up from the floor.”
Amityville’s principal has filed a complaint against Consewogue with Secion Xl, which manages high school sports in Suffolk County, along with a police complaint.
The players have also filed a lawsuit, which Consewogue refused to comment on.