PATERSON, NJ – Social media posts that contained “inappropriate and taunting language” and, as announced on Monday, also included racial slurs directed at JFK High School players, has drawn a demand for an investigation by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) from Superintendent Eileen Shafer.
The post, which led to the postponement of the game between JFK High School Knights and Clifton High School Mustangs from Friday to Saturday included the phrase, “Watch these kennedy niggas get they ass whooped … [sic],” Shafer announced in a press release.
According to the press release, the post was forwarded to Shafer on Friday morning while she was at a meeting of all Passaic County schools superintendents, where Clifton Schools Superintendent Richard Tardalo was also in attendance. Shafer, it says, brought the post to Tardalo’s attention at the meeting.
“The social media post that used the n-word against Kennedy Knights players took healthy competition down to the depraved level of racism. It’s unacceptable and I won’t tolerate racist behavior against anyone in the Paterson Public Schools, most especially against our students,” Shafer said. “When I learned of the post, I immediately brought it to the Clifton superintendent’s attention. Because I have seen no action from Mr. Tardalo, I’m calling upon the NJSIAA to make sure this matter is investigated fully and that the person, or group of people, responsible for the racist post are held accountable.”
In what appeared to be a reaction to the post, several Kennedy Knights football players posted an online video of their own which contained foul language, and led to a number of them being benched for for the game.
“Safety must always come first, and calling attention to the disgusting racial slur against our football players before the game could have put at risk the safety of players, students, staff and families who attended the game,” Shafer said in regards why she did not reveal the full content of the racially charged post previously.
“Now that the game has been played, the time has come for action against the racist behavior against our football players.”
A further allegation that one of the officials for the rescheduled game responded to a question by one of the Knights’ team captains by telling him to “shut the f*** up,” also came to light on Monday, drawing Shafer to say that the report “emphasizes how much we need the NJSIAA to investigate this matter.”
A spokesman for the NISIAA told TAPinto Paterson in an email that they have not received a formal complaint but “are aware of the of the situation from media reports and are reaching out to both sides for details.”