Varsity Football Head Coach Jason Strickland repudiated recent accusations his players used racial slurs toward Wakefield High School players during their game on March 5, saying he has seen no evidence of bigoted behavior during his tenure.
Though he admitted there was aggression between two players, Strickland said in a letter to the community there were no racial slurs involved.
“My staff and I do not allow nor promote our players committing unsportsmanlike conduct or acts of racism or bigotry from our teams/program in school, practices, games, or the community,” Strickland said. “The incident […] was between two competitive players from Marshall and Wakefield, that unfortunately got out of hand. […] From our perspective, the officials allowed this situation to grow throughout the game where it came to a head at the end of the game. But at no point did we see or hear any of the accusations that are being said about our players, coaches, or parents.”
Strickland also shot back at comments alleging there is a deep rooted culture of racism in the Marshall athletics department.
“This is the first time we have experienced something like this in my three years at Marshall.” Strickland said. “So to say there is a history of these accusations, I also do not agree with.”
Strickland defended Marshall and said players, coaches and parents have never exhibited these behaviors.
“No one is perfect, but I just do not believe these accusations,” Strickland said. “They have never exhibited any such behaviors, and I stand by my team, our families and our school.”