OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. – What was supposed to be a competitive, yet friendly, competition ended with tempers flared and people spitting on one another.
New video shows the aftermath of the Denby vs. Almont Football game. Local 4 learned that Oakland County Sheriff’s Office investigators are looking into the fight. They are investigating four incidents, three out of the four were recorded on video.
The incidents are two alleged spittings by a Denby player and a fan at the fence line. A deputy that was assaulted, pushed by a Denby player, and a Denby player that allegedly pushed, assaulted by a band member.
Deputies told Local 4 that there is a fifth allegation -- that a soda can was thrown by a fan and hit a Denby player.
Detroit Public Schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti released the following statement:
“Unfortunately, the statement released by the Almont superintendent continues to demonstrate a lack of understanding about race in this country and state. It is disappointing that high school black student-athletes would be blamed for their reaction to racist hate-spitting, racial slurs, and objects being thrown at them. It is irresponsible to identify 'blocks in the back’ and football penalties as the cause of the unrest that occurred after the game. Let’s get this straight-teenagers-high school student-athletes -- who are black -- were spit on, called racist names, and had objects thrown at them after the game. Period. Young men were disrespected by adults-who were white -- and in turn our students were rightfully angry. They were standing up for themselves, their teammates, and in some cases their coaches and administrators. The Almont superintendent reached out to me to state that he was condemning any and all hateful actions. I respected that. However, I would not agree to, and will not agree to, issuing a statement that in essence states that there were bad actors on both the Almont and Denby sides. I will not equate hate and responding to hate as equal acts. In fact, buried in the Almont superintendent’s statement he acknowledges what we have been saying from the beginning-that there was evidence of hateful acts occurring from Almont fans (although he isolates it to one fan). To be clear, this is not about making this issue about race-the issue is about race. When student-athletes are called the n-word from white fans it’s about race. Moving forward, we would like to see the Michigan High School Athletics Association work with Detroit Public Schools Community District to ensure more Detroit fields are used for later playoff games, that we actively recruit and develop more diverse referees, that playoff games are officiated by crews who work in the leagues teams play in, and that referees are trained in issues of power, privilege, and race, and use their authority to dismiss any and all fans that use racist chants, language or threats.”