Brawl breaks out at Logan Lacrosse game, parents claim racial tensions
LOGAN, Utah – Police are investigating a fight that broke out during a lacrosse game at Logan High School Wednesday night. Spectators said players from the opposing team from Roy suddenly started rushing the bleachers.
“Kind of came out of nowhere. It was kind of weird,” Perkins said. “I walked away, because I didn’t want to get beat up, you know?”
Perkins said just moments before Logan fans were taunting the Roy team to “warm up the bus.” But what spectators in the stands didn’t see, according to Roy parents and coaches, was racial tensions that were building on the field.
Shane Smith said a player from Logan kept taunting his son, Payton, who happens to be African-American, sometimes with racial comments.
“(He) started in after half-time, with comments like, ‘You need to lay off the Kentucky Fried Chicken and gravy,'” Smith said. “After every goal, he would make a comment to him, and it boiled over. My son pushed him down, and when he started to get up, he pushed him down again.”
Smith said at some point his son, who is the team’s goalie, also kicked the other player. He said his son claims it happened accidentally as referees pulled him away. Either way, Smith said his son is sorry for his actions.
“We had talked, and it was, ‘You never let anybody control you like this again,’ you know?” Smith said.
Meantime, as Smith was pulling his son away from the game the brawl erupted, he said. He was too far away to see what happened. A mother of a Roy player, who asked that we not name her, said closer to the stands, she had just turned around to see an adult male punching her son.
“He had him kind of pinned against a fence,” she said. “He was punching him in the neck/face area. I was like, ‘Get off my son! He’s a minor! That’s assault!”
The mother said the man then grabbed her. That’s when, she said, more Roy team members jumped in to pull the man away. She said the man later told police that he was trying to stop her son from hitting people.
Roy head coach Ryan Olson said his diverse team is, unfortunately, used to dealing with racial comments, and sometimes slurs.
“Whether it’s to get in their head, or just plain being mean, it’s happening,” Olson said. “It seems like every game we’ve played in, kid comes off the field either upset or in tears because racial slurs have been thrown in his direction.”
Olson said Smith will be suspended from one game. Since the team is not sanctioned by Roy High School, the school is not involved in disciplinary actions. Olson said he was too far away to see what happened during the brawl. He said while he does not condone any violence that occurred, he believes his players should be treated better.
“I’ve been coaching a lot of these boys since they were 7 years old, in either football or lacrosse,” Olson said. “They’ve been dealing with it most of their lives.”