I would like to think that high school football is a great way to make new friends, get to know the school staff a little better, and to take your school pride to the next level. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, my experience with high school football was a little bit different and changed my outlook on playing any kind of sport for school. One of the biggest problems I came across personally and had to watch my younger brothers deal with is the racism that plagued the coaching staff, and infected everyone from the top to the bottom. I don’t want to mention any names, but this is a real problem that needs to be dealt with and brought to the attention to the public.
I first realized how bad it really was when I seen my youngest brother come home in tears because he was fed up with the way the coaches treated him. I mean sure I dealt with racism my whole life and I tried not to let it bother me, but as soon as I seen my brother I knew something had to be done. First I decided to attend the games and watch the coach in action, the first game I went to I seen all the minorities sitting on the bench ( most of them were the best players on the team) and the team was losing badly. I was yelling for him to put my brother in who was supposed to be a running back , one of the key components of any offense, because the kid that replaced him who happened to be white and friends of the coaches son was getting beat pretty bad on the field. He put my brother in and gained some yardage then right back to the bench so the other kid could score. Now by this time I was pretty angry and so was my brother I could tell because he was following the coach trying to get back in the game.
Okay, now it was time for a different approach so one day when my brother had his friends over hanging out. Since most of them were on the team with him I decided to ask them a few questions about how the coaches treated them. I was shocked when I heard some of their stories and was filled with anger that a coach would treat kids this way. One of the kids was Italian and the coach asked him how come he was hanging out with a bunch of Mexicans, and that he could have a starting position if he stopped hanging around the “bad influences”,WOW. As I was talking to my brother and his friends it seemed that the way the coaches treated them was effecting their attitude of school in general and most of them were almost ready to give up on the one thing that they loved the most and spent all their free time doing.
Now you see how this problem effects the students not only with morale but with the academic side of school, because to really succeed in school the student should participate in any after school activities from yearbook committee to sports. Since sports was the interest of my brother and his friends if they decided to quit the team they found that they were struggling to keep up with the amount of work they needed to make up for not participating in after school activities. This is really frustrating and most of his friends ended up dropping out of school to get a job.
I had to take a stand and make my voice heard to who ever would listen, so I set up a meeting with the principal of the school to see if anything could be done. I explained to him what was going on and told him about the coaches behavior and the effect it had on the students, his reply was that he couldn’t do anything until a student complained or if he witnessed it himself. I was beginning to get frustrated with the whole school system because it was like he didn’t believe me and thought I was making it all up, so I told my brother and all his friends to let the principal know right away if anything happened again. Most of them were afraid to tell on their coach probably because they were threatened and called a “snitch” by the coach. Unfortunately a brother of a student doesn’t have much effect on the school, but a short wile after this incident parents started to take a stand and even got into the local paper. Hopefully this will make the coaching staff think before they talk or treat another Innocent kid with such poor ethics.
Let me explain the effect this has on the whole community, if this keeps up there will be more minority drop outs which will lead to more kids with no hope left on the street, once they find out they can’t get a good job without a diploma they will turn to other illegal options to make money, which will lead to more minorities in jail which will lead to more stereotypes that all minorities are criminals. This is a vicious circle that can be stopped just by standing up to these people in positions of power and encouraging the young to never give up. I hope this article opens up some eyes that were blind to the fact that this still goes on in our schools today, and gets people together to make a change for the better.