A Confederate flag flown at a high school football game Friday in Denver sparked outrage and conflict on and off the field, including racial taunts, a principal says.
Principal Nick Dawkins of Manual High School sent an email to parents Saturday recounting the events at Friday’s game against Weld Central High School.
“Last night, the Weld Central High School team, which has a Rebel mascot, displayed a Confederate flag during the first quarter of the game, offending many members of the Manual community,” Dawkins wrote. “We asked them to remove the flag and they did so.”
Three Manual High School players were injured during the game, including one with a concussion and another taken to a hopsital with a leg injury.
“I want to emphasize that the players received treatment and will be fine,” Dawkins wrote. “In addition, some of our players reported that, when tackled, players from the opposing team taunted them with racial slurs.”
Dawkins said in the letter that he spoke with a Weld Central High School coach and plans to follow up with the school’s principal and superintendent. He added that he was not aware of similar problems at past games against the school.
“Symbols of racism and hatred, and racial slurs, ought to have no place in athletics or in any part of our students’ experiences,” Dawkins wrote.
The Daily Mail reports that Manual High School’s student body is 29 percent black and 6 percent white. Weld Central, 40 miles northeast of Denver, has a 58-percent white student body with less than 1 percent of black students. Hispanic students make up most of the rest of the population at both schools.
Denver television stattion Fox31 reports that parents from both high schools had emailed to say the incidents didn’t occur as described in Dawkins’ letter.
Weld Central High School’s rebel mascot, who is sometimes depicted in Union blue rather than Confederate gray, has recently been the focus of attention as debate roiled nationwide over Confederate monuments. Two petitions, one calling for the mascot’s removal and the other for its retention, circulated in August.
The Rebels defeated the Manual High School Thunderbolts 48-12 in Friday’s game, reports The Daily Mail.