School officials in Lunenburg, Massachusetts have postponed football games until the people responsible for hateful words — “Knights don’t need n*****r” — spray-painted on the home of a biracial football player are discovered.
The message — which is now being investigated by local police and the FBI as a hate crime — was found on the home of 13-year-old Isaac Phillips early on Friday morning. Phillips, whose mother is white and father is African-American, now wants to transfer to another school.
“I’m frustrated that someone would use that word in 2013. I thought we moved on from this,” Isaac’s father told CBS Boston of the words spray-painted on the house.
The New England regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, Robert Trestan, issued a statement in which he said:
This brazen attack on the home of a high school football player warrants everyone’s condemnation. All of us should be disturbed by this case. Our children retreat to their homes every day because of the safety it offers. Too often, hate crimes shatter our communities’ sense of safety.
This case is indicative of how school bullying can quickly escalate to a hate crime and civil rights violations, making it a community wide concern. All of us have a role to play in providing comfort and being clear that these actions are completely unacceptable. We applaud the Lunenburg police for making this case a top priority, and are confident that the offenders will be quickly apprehended.
Phillips’s mother claims that this is not the first time her son had been targeted. His football equipment has been repeatedly stolen, she alleges, and the tires on his bike have been slashed.
Watch the CBS Boston report on the incident below.