DETROIT (WXYZ/CNN) - The Michigan high school football playoff game between Denby and Almont ended early with a confrontation between Almont fans and Denby players and coaches.
The Michigan high school football playoff game between Denby and Almont ended early with a confrontation between Almont fans and Denby players and coaches. (Source: WXYZ/Port Huron Times Herald/CNN)
By the time, referees stopped Saturday’s game, Almont was beating Denby 36-8 and one Denby player had already been ejected for a flagrant personal foul. He’s suspended for one future game.
Then, it got ugly in the stands. Officials are looking at all videos to determine exactly who did what.
Dr. William Kalmar, superintendent of Almont Community Schools, said adults in his group are a key focus.
"The people that we would have expected to deescalate the situation were instead taunting the student-athletes from Denby,” Kalmar explained.
Kalmar, his athletic director and high school principal all attended the game. Kalmar said they’re talking with students, players and adults.
Some of the people on the Denby side claim Almont people used the n-word against Denby.
“We have watched a lot of videotapes, the ones that are public, the one’s that aren’t public yet, and you can’t hear those kind of comments," Kalmar said.
Kalmar is reaching out for more evidence.
“If they have evidence, if they had video evidence where they can provide us direct information, we would love to hear it,” Kalmar stressed.
Oakland County called in Milford, Wixon and Walled Lake police to the stadium in Walled Lake to end the melee.
None of those departments have bodycam videos.
"It was totally ridiculous that something like that, with children, is still happening in 2019,” said Audrey Bursey, a Denby parent.
Detroit’s Superintendent Nikolai P. Vitti issued the following statement:
“Based on their preliminary findings, it is our understanding that Almont adult spectators were cursing and spitting on our coaches and players after the game while leaving the field. The disrespect toward the city, school and players continued on social media after the game where Almont fans used numerous racist stereotypes.”
Both sides of the issue have made social media posts pointing fingers at the other.
“I think a lot of that has become hyperbole and exaggeration,” Kalmar said. “And a lot of society’s ills have been heaped onto this thing in a big hurry."
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