SAN DIEGO – The Lincoln High School football team have announced that they will not play against Cathedral Catholic High School on Friday night, citing alleged acts of racism by their opponent dating back decades.
In a statement on Tuesday, Lincoln High head coach David Dunn said the program has been “stretched beyond intolerable meansBecause of the incidents, in particular to have been recently targeted by the Catholic cathedral which, according to him, qualified them as “condemned and thugs”.
“Their actions have not only criminalized and hurt our student-athletes, but they have also created a false, outrageous and undeserved perception of them and our close (united) community,” Dunn wrote. “A concern shared by many in our community has insisted that protecting our student-athletes from further abuse and discrimination is the only solution.”
In an incident last April, social media posts were circulated by a Dons player, showing someone wearing a shirt marked “Catholics Against Convicts III”, along with other derogatory images of the members of the cathedral team. Another post showed cathedral players making a gang sign.
The Catholic Cathedral Shirts refer to a controversial slogan and shirt made by fans of Notre Dame before they played against their powerful rivals at the University of Miami in the late 1980s.
The San Diego city high school football conference placed the private Catholic school coach on a two-game suspension following the incident and Dons on a two-year probation.
While at the time, the coaches worked together to begin the healing process, the Lincoln High administration said they were united in their decision not to play.
“The Lincoln school community has continually carried the burden of dealing with social injustice and racial inequality,” Dunn wrote in the letter. “Apologies and swift actions did not fix the evil or stop the evil from continuing.”
Brian Roberts, a Hornets defensive tackle, said for himself, “It doesn’t really hurt,” but insisted the incident should never have happened.
“A lot of us are not really soft,” he said. “We have a strong shell so that doesn’t really bother us. “
Lincoln High School would normally be forfeited for its decision not to play, but the San Diego City High School Football Conference is taking a closer look to determine the outcome of the incident that will affect both teams at the to come up.
City News Service contributed to this story.
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