Alleged racist remarks spur probe by Union, Fruitport HS

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Two West Michigan school districts are investigating what happened between their players at a Friday football game after unsettling allegations surfaced on Facebook.

“Hate is not born, it’s taught,” said Rodney McFall.

A photo of Rodney McFall. (Sept. 27, 2019)
A photo of Rodney McFall. (Sept. 27, 2019)

McFall’s son is among the Union High School football players accusing Fruitport High School’s team of racist and profane name-calling.

“They used the n-word a lot,” said McFall.

McFall vented about the allegations on Facebook. In his post, he wrote the Fruitport players were, “saying our kids should go back to the plantation where they came from.”

“It was really insulting,” he told News 8 Friday.

In his post, McFall also said “the incidents were brought to the attention of the officials numerous times throughout the game and the officials did nothing.”

News 8 reached out to OK Conference officials who said they can’t comment because the matter is still being investigated.

“It hurt the kids,” said McFall. “The boys tolerated it as long as they could, and at some point, when they saw it wouldn’t change or anything would be done, they started responding.”

According to McFall, the game got very physical.

“There was a lot of pushing and shoving, a lot of fights on,” he said. “It got so bad that at the end of the fourth quarter, they ended up pulling the kids off the field and they let the clock run out — game over.”

Both high schools acknowledged the complaint. Union and Fruitport high school’s superintendents issued the following joint statement to News 8:

“Our school districts are aware of allegations of culturally insensitive comments made at the recent Grand Rapids Union and Fruitport varsity football game. We take all allegations of this nature seriously and are jointly conducting a full investigation. We believe high school athletics was designed to build character and integrity in our students and we will not tolerate behavior that violates our student codes of conduct.”

“It’s unacceptable at any level,” said McFall. “It’s unacceptable.”

McFall said he’s personally reached out to Union High School administrators regarding the allegations, but had not heard back from them as of Friday afternoon.

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