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WPIAL advises sensitivity training, no sanctions against Connellsville and Alderdice

WPIAL advises sensitivity training, no sanctions against Connellsville and Alderdice

In response to a September 1 incident between the boy’s soccer teams of Alderdice and Connellsville High Schools, the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletics League elected not to sanction either high school with significant disciplinary action. Instead, both schools were directed to have their players attend “anti-discrimination, diversity and sensitivity training.”

In that September match, players from Alderdice alleged that Connellsville players shouted racial slurs at them. In response, Connellsville players claimed Alderdice players use homophobic slurs. The incident was reviewed by WPIAL over the past weeks, culminating in an October 21 hearing that was closed to the media. The decision by WPIAL was released this morning.

The incident is the second in two years for Connellsville, who were also accused of racist behavior in a home match in September of 2018 against Penn Hills.

Reports from local media outlets regarding this latest incident indicate that WPIAL was satisfied that both schools would address the matter sufficiently. WPIAL stated in a press release, “To their credit, both schools expressed a sincere desire to work together in eradicating the sort of unacceptable behavior their student-athletes are accused of engaging in. The WPIAL Board has thus decided to view the situation as an opportunity to educate and heal instead of punishing either school or their student-athletes.”

The WPIAL press release did not address how this sensitivity training would be different or more effective than similar sensitivity training which was undertaken in 2018.

Mark Asher Goodman is a writer for Pittsburgh Soccer Now, covering the Riverhounds, the Pitt Men's and Women's teams, and youth soccer. He also co-hosts a podcast on the Colorado Rapids called 'Holding the High Line with Rabbi and Red.' He has written in the past for the Washington Post, Denver Post, The Athletic, and American Soccer Analysis. When he's not reading, writing, watching, or coaching soccer, he is an actual rabbi. No, really. You can find him on twitter at @soccer_rabbi

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