Detroit high school football team target of racial slurs while celebrating semifinal win

‘Hateful language and racist slurs,’ statement reads

A Detroit high school football team was the target of racial slurs as they were celebrating their semifinal win last week.

DETROIT – A Detroit high school football team was the target of racial slurs as they were celebrating their semifinal win last week.

The game between Martin Luther King Jr. High School and Mason High School was played at Wayne Memorial High School. Both schools are addressing what happened.

“We were happy to be victorious and so we were in the end zone. Principal (Damian) Perry showed up and we did our customary prayer,” Martin Luther King Jr. High School Athletic Director Barry Cannon said.

Read: East Lansing High School football players endured slurs, vulgarity at South Lyon game

Cannon said they were celebrating their big win in the Division 3 semifinal football game against Mason High School. He said he got a phone call later from the superintendent of Mason schools.

“Some type of inflammatory, derogatory language was used by one of their fans or several of their fans,” Cannon said.

Perry said he’s proud of how the school’s coaches, leaders and players handled the situation.

“I think Michelle Obama said it best, when others go low, we’ll go high. I think that’s been the mantra of our school. That’s been the legacy of our school and it really speaks to what we will and always have been, which are leaders,” Perry said.

Mason’s schools superintendent Ronald Drzewicki released the following statement:

“Over the weekend, members of the Mason community had the pleasure of cheering on the Mason High School varsity football team in the state semifinals for the first time in the program’s history. While we are proud of the performance and sportsmanship of both teams and coaches, we were disheartened that some Mason individuals attending Saturday’s game were using hateful language and racist slurs in their conversations. These actions and words will never be tolerated by Mason Public Schools.

Mason Public Schools (MPS) administrators are addressing this racist behavior and it will not be condoned in our schools or at our activities. It is extremely important that inappropriate language or actions are reported immediately to onsite school personnel.

As stated in the resolution adopted by our Board of Education, MPS stands against any language, behavior, policies, or practices that are derogatory, inflammatory, or otherwise inappropriate, that may impact the physical, emotional, and psychological safety of others. In instances where this expectation is violated, we will work to respond, to educate, and to hold ourselves accountable for the school community we want in Mason Public Schools. Thank you to the individuals who continue to uphold these values.

We will continue to strive to grow an environment where our students, staff and community respectfully acknowledge, understand and value the diverse cultures, lifestyles, experiences, perspectives and identities of each other with a commitment to anti-discrimination and anti-racism.”

School leaders with Martin Luther King Jr. High School said they are putting the incident behind them and focusing on the bigger prize -- which is the championship game against DeWitt High School on Saturday at Ford Field.

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Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.