Group of Fayette Co. parents speaking out after incident at football game

Published: Nov. 6, 2020 at 2:42 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Fayette County parents are speaking out after an incident during a football game between Tates Creek and Pulaski County High School.

They say Pulaski County players used racial slurs against Black Tates Creek players. Now, a group of fathers is calling on all parents to teach their children about racial tolerance and inclusion.

Will Witherington was looking forward to his son’s football game.

“I’m thinking we’re going to get to the car, talk about his first touch down as a ninth-grader on the varsity,” Witherington said.

But when they got back to the car, Witherington’s son told him that Pulaski County players used racial slurs against Black Tates Creek players.

“He said they were also saying things like ‘moon chirper’ or ‘cricket chirper,' or something. I said,’ moon cricket?' They was like, ‘what is a mooncricket?’ We had to go home and try to figure out what a ‘mooncricket’ was, I had never heard that term,” Witherington said.

Eric Perkins knew something was wrong when his son was visibly upset on the field.

“He was having an emotional issue, so I went down and I asked and I stood there until I got an answer,” Perkins said. "The answer that I got was, ‘the other team is throwing racial slurs at the other players.’ I said, ‘what did they specifically say to my son?’ They called him the n-word, not because they listen to rap all the time and put the nice “a” on the end, but the hard “er.”

Tates Creek parents wrote letters to school administrators demanding an apology.

“To both schools credit, they have really gone after this," Witherington said. "They have investigated it, they have met, put things in place.”

The fathers are using this moment to condemn racism and highlight the need for respect of all human beings.

“The most primitive thing we can keep pointing out is color, yet we call ourselves intelligent,” Perkins said.

“I think it’s important for me, as a white man, to speak up and say I’m not going to stand for this,” Witherington said.

Tates Creek didn’t win any games this season, but Perkins is commending his son for finishing the game despite being called by a racial slur.

“As a father and as a man, and as a Black man, to stand up and still finish the job even though you know you’re being targeted for something you don’t have control over says a lot for him, I see nothing but greatness, and in a lot of those going men on the field,” Perkins said.

Pulaski County Coach John Hines reached out to Tates Creek coach Jon Smith and apologized.

School administrators are investigating the incident.

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