Wakefield athletes called slurs by Marshall during football game

Wakefield athletes called slurs by Marshall during football game

“Me and my teammates were called racial slurs, taunted, and even spit on by Marshall players,” Wakefield players recently reported to the media. “We also experienced unfair treatment by each of the refs and were harrassed from the sidelines by coaches and Marshall parents.”  

Wakefield students Lukai Hatcher and Izaiah Lang took the incident to the media through platforms Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to disclose the facts that transpired at their away game on Friday, March 5. 

After countless amounts of reposts, shares, and comments the racial injustices of Marshall High School of Fairfax County were recognized by many articles including the Washington Post. Even some players and their families were interviewed by the news channel, NBC News. 

It took courage for the athletes of Wakefield to address their experience on their own after being repeatedly shut down by the officiators of the game. #PlayFairNow was created to advocate for minority athletes, influencing others to use their voice to speak upon unjust experiences.

Three Wakefield athletes were suspended from their last games of the season. Officials of the game that night wrongfully threw flags at Wakefield players and coaches, ignored their complaints regarding the unfair treatment, and ultimately disregarded the violation of one’s rights. All involved continued to remain silent and continued to condone these acts of intolerance.

Many athletes attending Annandale are shocked to hear this form of racial inequality can occur when playing a competitive high school football game. Most use their sport as an escape from reality in our unfair world, making this altercation extremely heartbreaking. 

“I play basketball for Annandale simply because I love the sport and I couldn’t imagine being treated unfairly because of the color of my skin,” said Sophomore John Awoke. Awoke also adds, “I have come to realize this can be my reality when understanding the Wakefield boys went to Marshall’s field to play and do what they love.”

Many schools require their athletes to honor guidelines by appreciating each other’s differences and treating each other with respect.

“Marshall football players should be held accountable and receive some type of consequence for their actions,” said junior Muneeb Mohammed. “This incident educates us Annandale students and athletes to be respectful towards our teammates and opponents at all times,” said Mohammed.

The fact is our teachers aren’t surprised. 

Annandale and plenty of other schools have experienced racism that could be unspoken of to the public. 

“Having witnessed the disenfranchisement of students at Annandale struck me because these students involved did not see that they were making decisions based on race,” said English teacher Leslie Chekin.

“Teachers and adults have failed the children. My colleagues and I take an active role in combating and addressing racism in our society. People with college degrees advocate for students and yet this is our reality. It is a battle and we are not done fighting,” said Chekin.