Student receives threats for his call at game

Margaretta Schools officials punished a high school student Friday after he made a controversial remark as a play-by-play commentator at a seventh-grade football game.
Alissa Widman Neese
Oct 8, 2013
The boy, 15, has received several threats in person and online regarding the incident, prompting his parents to file a report with deputies at the Erie County Sheriff’s Office on Friday.

At Thursday’s game, the boy announced “he’s got that getting-away-from-the-cops speed” when an opposing player from Edison Schools ran the football for several yards, according to the report. The player he referenced is Haitian.

Since Thursday, several individuals have threatened to harm the boy on Facebook because the comment upset them, according to the report.

Deputies are still reviewing the comments to determine if any harassment or menacing charges will be filed.

The Margaretta Schools student has been disciplined, but the district is not required to release his punishment, superintendent Ed Kurt said Monday, citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The situation was handled internally within the high school.

“We worked with the student, and we hope this is a learning experience,” Kurt said. “We want to move forward in a positive fashion.”

When contacted Monday, the boy’s parents said they are seeking legal advice, possibly against Margaretta Schools and individuals who made threats against their son. They told the Register they’d provide additional comments later this week.   In Friday’s report, the boy’s parents told deputies the comment their son made is “very popular” in a Madden NFL football video game.

Game footage of Madden NFL 12 posted on YouTube does reveal a game commentator uses the phrase, often when an African-American player scores a touchdown.

Several YouTube commentors question the racist connotation of the comment and its inclusion in the video game.

CBS announcer Gus Johnson initially made the controversial remark in 2009 while describing a Tennessee Titans running back’s touchdown run.

The comment drew race-related criticism and Johnson publicly apologized. Both Johnson and the running back are black. Video clip of that call posted below

In 1983, legendary sports broadcaster Howard Cossell took heat after he said “that little monkey gets loose,” referring to Alvin Garrett, a black wide receiver with the Washington Redskins.