CONNELLSVILLE (KDKA) — The WPIAL is responding to accusations that Fayette County high school students used racial slurs against students from Pittsburgh Public Schools.
“Racial insensitivity has no place in interscholastic athletics. We’ve made that public,” WPIAL Executive Director Tim O’Malley said.
O’Malley first learned about the allegations that players on the Connellsville soccer team made racial slurs to Taylor Allderdice soccer players just days after it happened.
He said it can be challenging to prove who said what and when.
“Most of the people that tend to weigh on these situations do so from a hearsay standpoint, weren’t factually there, weren’t in attendance, didn’t actually hear anything,” said O’Malley.
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One woman, who asked us not to use her name, said it was her son, who is Latino, and another boy who is black were the subject of racial slurs at the game on Sept. 1.
“All the parents were outraged, gravely concerned,” she said.
Both are soccer players for the Taylor Allderdice boys’ soccer team.
“WPIAL, who is in charge of not letting this happen has done nothing effective to stop it,” the parent said.
She says that’s why parents are adding pressure by speaking out. They want WPIAL to do something so that this doesn’t happen again.
The superintendent of the Connellsville Area School District released this statement through a lawyer:
“The Connellsville Area School District denounces racism and emphatically maintains that racism in any form has no place in our civil society, much less in educational settings in the classroom or on the playing field. Likewise, the District deplores the types of homophobic comments allegedly made by Taylor Allderdice players towards a Connellsville soccer player. The District takes every allegation of racism or homophobia seriously and is committed to addressing all such claims. Upon receiving the allegations, the District immediately began investigating the claims and has requested all relevant evidence and information from site officials, game officials, and Connellsville and Allderdice personnel and players. At this time, in acknowledgement of the disappointment of Connellsville players and their parents with these allegations, we seek sensitivity and ask that all conclusions be well-reasoned and based on substantiated facts. Consistent with the spirit of fairness and cooperation so crucial in educational athletics, the District asks that everyone involved continue to exercise prudence and restraint in not rushing to premature judgment of any student or school without the benefit of all relevant information. Once again, the District’s administrators, faculty, staff, and student body join Taylor Allderdice in categorically standing against racism and homophobia and in seeking to hold wrongdoers accountable. We thank everyone for their patience and cooperation throughout this process.”
WPIAL is looking to schedule a hearing on this next week with both schools.