GEORGETOWN — Local police and school officials are investigating a racially charged “physical altercation” that broke out Friday near the end of a Georgetown High School football game against Roxbury Prep Charter School.
The incident involved players from both teams and several coaches, according to a statement released by the Georgetown School Department over the weekend.
As a result of the incident, which included racially charged language, the game was canceled and local police dispersed the crowd.
“I want to clearly state that the Georgetown Public Schools will not tolerate racism in any form and is working with the Georgetown Police Department to investigate this allegation,” School Superintendent Carol Jacobs said in a statement.
Jacobs wrote that her district has contacted Roxbury Prep Charter School officials to “gather facts and resolve the issues.”
“There are clearly strong emotions and many different versions of what happened at this game that is swirling around on social media,” Jacobs added. “I ask for calm and patience as we investigate this situation and arrive at a resolution that considers all of the facts and is satisfactory to all parties involved.”
Roxbury Prep coach Jamal Hunt wrote in a Facebook post that his players were ridiculed and taunted with racial epithets during the game.
“I’m still numb, but this is America. The fact that there was nothing I could do to protect my boys hurt the most,” Hunt wrote. “I broke down, I watched racism ruin ... something that was supposed to be good to them.”
Georgetown Police Chief Donald Cudmore said there were no charges filed or arrests made but his department will continue its investigation to determine if the incident rose to criminal activity.
“It’s unfortunate tensions were so high,” Cudmore said.
Like at most high school football games, two Georgetown police officers were hired to manage parking and crowd control. When players and coaches on both sides began confronting each other, referees asked the officers to intervene.
When officials decided to cancel the game, additional officers were called to help disperse the roughly 350 people in attendance, the chief said.
Officers are investigating how the incident started and whether any charges should be filed. School officials are looking into allegations that hate speech was used, according to Cudmore.
Dave Rogers is a reporter with the Daily News of Newburyport. Email him at: email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.