A Massachusetts boy was banned from a peewee football league for using a racial slur against an opponent.
The 9-year-old Ludlow Lions player was ejected from a game over the weekend after an argument with a player from the Amherst Hurricanes, who complained referees had missed an illegal tackle, reported MassLive.
The Lions player responded by telling the Amherst player, Kordell London, to mind his own business and calling him a “n*gger,” said the biracial boy’s mother, Stacia London.
The boy’s comments were loud enough to be indisputable, according to witnesses.
“He has never experienced anything like this before,” Stacia London said.
The Lions player was ejected from the game, which put Ludlow below the minimum number of 11 players and forced them to forfeit the game, which Amherst was leading 43-0, in the third quarter.
“I think he’s hurt,” Stacia London said. “When I asked him what happened after the game and if he was OK, he said it was ‘just a stupid white kid from Ludlow,’ and he was more upset about the game ending. But I think it really bothered him. It was the first time — he’s never going to forget it.”
Kordell, a running back and wide receiver, had scored two touchdowns in the game.
“It’s not about him being a victim,” said father Michael London, an assistant coach for the Howard University football team. “I spoke with my son. He was more mad that the game had ended than being called a particular word. It’s just a teachable moment.”
The Ludlow coach said the other player had been banned from peewee football for at least one year, but may be allowed to join sometime later.
“As a repercussion maybe he can join it back in middle school,” coach David Harris told WWLP-TV. “I think that’s probably appropriate. He shouldn’t be allowed to be on the field and make somebody else feel like lesser of a player.”
The Ludlow team’s board sent a letter of apology to Amherst, but one Lions booster said he disagreed with the punishment.
“Everybody grows up the way they’re taught, (so)if you’re gonna blame somebody, then blame an adult,” said Paola DaSilva, of Ludlow. “He’s a child, like grow up. You’re gonna ban a child from playing a game because he said something stupid? Come on, people.”