Fans of FCPS high school soccer team accused of chanting anti-LGBTQ slur during match

Dunbar soccer fans accused of chanting anti-LGBTQ slur at match
Published: Aug. 31, 2023 at 5:35 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - There are reports of an anti-LGBTQ chant happening at a Fayette County high school boys’ soccer match.

The teams were Dunbar at Lafayette.

There are accusations that some fans on the Dunbar side were yelling a FIFA-banned Spanish word, considered an anti-LGBTQ slur, toward members of the Lafayette soccer team.

“I was made aware of this posting that was listed on Twitter, and of course, we here at Fayette County Public Schools have no tolerance for any type of hate speech or language,” said Dia Davidson-Smith, Chief Communication and Public Engagement Officer for Fayette County Public Schools, referring to a post made by Lexington-Herald Leader journalist Jared Peck.

Peck was covering the soccer match between Dunbar at Lafayette on August 29.

He says he heard the anti-LGBTQ chant during the match.

The Dunbar High School digital news outlet, the PLD Lamplighter, acknowledged the reported slur with an article titled “We Can Do Better, Dunbar.”

The article quotes one Dunbar soccer player, saying, “We enjoy the support of the fans, but we don’t condone this type of behavior from them.”

The report also quotes one of the leaders of the Dunbar student section, saying, “The student section was not involved in any of this and does not support the hateful things that were said.”

The school’s principal sent this letter to the Dunbar community about what happened:

I am writing this evening to ensure open lines of communication are kept between home and school.  During a recent soccer match between Dunbar and Lafayette High School, several Dunbar fans used an inappropriate and offensive chant that has been banned by FIFA and other soccer organizations.

I want to ensure that you hear about this situation directly from me, as there may be additional media attention brought to this matter later this evening. It is also important to address this issue openly and transparently.

Our school administration, along with our faculty and staff, is taking this matter seriously. We will be implementing measures to address the behavior and prevent its recurrence at future soccer games.  This morning, I addressed it with the student body over the morning announcements and we will do so again at every home soccer match.  Those that choose to dismiss or ignore the guidance around the offensive chant will be removed from our stands and banned from future extracurricular events.

We would like to remind everyone that our school’s reputation is built on the collective actions and attitudes of our students, parents, and supporters. Let’s continue to work together to uphold the values that define us as a community.

I’d like to take a moment to commend our student media, the Lamplighter, for their proactive approach in addressing this matter. They’ve shown great responsibility by getting ahead of the story and discussing it from the student perspective.

Your understanding and support are vital as we work together to maintain a respectful environment that represents the best of Dunbar.

We do not know how long the chant lasted, nor do we know if it was immediately shut down.

The Kentucky High School Athletic Association gave us a statement referring us to their policy on ethnic and cultural diversity and sexual harassment. It says:

Prejudice or discrimination within the athletic program on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, or United States military service cannot be tolerated.