According to various local, Pittsburgh area news reports, the WPIAL will have a hearing next week with school officials & coaches from Connellsville and Allderdice high schools to address accusations that Connellsville used racial slurs against Allderdice players during a boys soccer match played over Labor Day weekend.
More than 30 Allderdice parents signed a letter intended for regional sports officials, and was published Sept. 15 and attached to a Change.org petition entitled “Confront Racism in Western Pennsylvania.”
The petition garnered more than 1,400 signatures as of Monday evening.
“Despite the best efforts of many, racism is alive and well on the fields of Western Pennsylvania high school sports,” the letter said. “On the field, Connellsville players goaded one black and one Latino member of the Allderdice team with racial slurs.”
Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Anthony Hamlet said Monday in a prepared statement he is aware of the incident, and the administration has filed a complaint with the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League.
“No student should be subjected to any racial slurs in a space that is to encourage healthy competition, teamwork and camaraderie,” Hamlet told Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
WPIAL Executive Director Tim O’Malley quickly moved to set up a meeting that will bring together all key participants, athletic directors, head coaches from both schools in an attempt to get to the bottom of what happened in a non section game that took place during the Paul Sasko Kickoff Classic in Belle Vernon in which multiple school teams from the region competed in matches over Labor Day weekend.
If this sounds like a familiar story line, it unfortunately is.
A year ago, Connellsville players were accused of similar accusations stemming from an incident in a boys soccer match held at the Fayette County school against Penn Hills. The result of the WPIAL hearing from last September was that the allegations from Penn Hills players were reasonably credible.
The Connellsville Area School District was required by WPIAL officials to hire an outside consultant to address and train its student-athletes regarding racial and cultural sensitivities.
“If the results for Penn Hills are predictive, adults responsible for Connellsville sports will continue to deny wrongdoing; WPIAL will sweep aside more credible accusations; perpetrators will demean others without remediation,” the letter reads.