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Anthony ISD responds to racist comment made during high school football game livestream

EL PASO, Texas - The Anthony Independent School District issued a statement Friday night in regards to a racist comment that was made during a high school football game livestream.

The Anthony football team was in Wink, TX for a bi-district round game against the Hawley Bearcats.

Wink High School was the neutral site location for the playoff game between Anthony and Hawley.

The Wink Independent School District provided a livestream of the game on its YouTube page.

At halftime of the game, a man is heard making a comment through an open mic about the size of the Anthony players,

"They’re not very big. I thought they’d be some pretty decent size. You know? Some chalupa-eating bastards, but they’re pretty small, honestly.”

There were no commentators for the livestream of the game and the camera was automated.

Wink says it does not know who made those comments.

Hawley ISD superintendent, Dr. Cassidy McBrayer issued a statement that was was published on the district's website.

The statement is provided below:

"Late this afternoon, Hawley ISD was made aware of inappropriate comments made during half-time of the playoff game last night. We received a copy of the video, which was captured outside the press box with the NFHS camera that belongs to Wink. Our local announcers were not involved in the incident. We do not even have announcers that were recording in association with that camera link. The inappropriate comments were made by a spectator near the press box. As we had not only Hawley ISD, but several Wink ISD fans and students, we are not certain we can identify the individual who made the comments. I am certain that it was not our local announcers. They did not even have connection during half-time. Several individuals who were listening to that broadcast have confirmed that it was not stated by Bearcats announcers, and that our broadcast feed was dead during halftime.”

“We do not, IN ANY WAY, condone the behavior, and if we identify that individual as a Hawley staff or student, it will be handled immediately. If the individual is a Hawley fan, we will address that as well. It is heartbreaking that any individual can make such derogatory comments, especially directed at student athletes on either side. Just this morning, I emailed the superintendent, high school principal, and athletic director from Anthony, thanking them for their students’ interactions with our kids. Then, for this to happen this afternoon, is awful. As the superintendent, I personally, would like to express my sincere apologies to the students at Anthony. The comments and behavior are inexcusable. We are angered that Hawley has been portrayed this way, and assure both Anthony and Hawley communities, if we are able to determine the individual responsible, we will address it.”

The Anthony Independent School District released its own response Friday night through a district spokeswoman.

The statement is as follows:

"Anthony ISD expresses profound displeasure regarding the ignorant, stereotypical and condescending comments heard through an unattended hot mic during the Anthony vs. Hawley playoff game on Friday at Wink, Texas.

Hawley ISD has offered a prompt apology and assured Anthony that the comments did not come from their staff, but rather from an unknown individual.

The regrettable remarks are a disheartening reality of the enduring presence of prejudice that can occur anywhere at any time. The belief that these expressions were articulated by an adult towards teenagers only magnifies the gravity of the situation. No adult should tear down a student/athlete in this despicable manner.

Sports are meant to be a source of enjoyment and a platform for student/athletes to learn about fairness, respect and integrity. We lament that the words of one individual put a dark shadow over the positive experience of participating in competitive sports. Our students made it to the bi-district playoff game this season thanks to their hard work, and we don’t want one individual’s words to overshadow their efforts and accomplishments.

We encourage everyone to be better. Our students deserve to continue pursuing their aspirations wholeheartedly, undeterred by the color of their skin or their background. Everyone needs to stand against racism. Anthony ISD is proud of our students and the Anthony community will always support them.”

Article Topic Follows: Sports

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Adrian Ochoa

Adrian Ochoa is ABC-7’s Sports Director.


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