Image via KVIA ABC 7 (screenshot)
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A high school football livestream featured a disparaging comment about some of the student football players by a district employee, leading to the employee getting fired after admitting to local officials that he made the remarks.
At Wink High School in El Paso, Texas, Anthony and Hawley High Schools were competing in a bi-district playoff game, KVIA ABC 7 reported. The district provided a YouTube livestream of the game with no commentators through the use of an automated camera feed.
During the broadcast, a man was overheard having a phone call.
"They're not very big. I thought they were going to have some pretty decent size," one man on the call said.
"Chalupa-eating bastards. They're pretty small, honestly," another man replied.
The comments sparked controversy. Hawley Superintendent Cassidy McBrayer immediately issuing a statement.
"He was not affiliated with the Hawley [Independent School District] broadcast, nor does he represent the thoughts or beliefs of Hawley ISD, Wink ISD, or Anthony ISD."
She added that the students did not deserve to be treated unfairly "due to the comments of an adult who was having an inappropriate conversation on their phone in front of a camera."
The Anthony Independent School District also issued a statement and called the comments "ignorant, stereotypical, and condescending."
Superintendent McBrayer originally stated that "identifying the person that said it might not be easy." However, she shared a post in the following days that noted she was contacted by the person who made the comment.
"Hawley [Independent School District] will handle appropriate consequences for the comments and does not in any way condone the behavior," McBrayer stated.
The man in question was identified as a district employee and was reportedly a teacher at a middle school in the district for two years. He was subsequently fired.
The Anthony High School principal held a press conference with district officials, where she reportedly expressed disappointment over the incident. She reminded the boys on the local football team to keep their heads held high and called the comments "heartbreaking."
Superintendent for the Anthony Independent School District Oscar Troncoso said that the comments made him "very angry."
"Our parents and our community have done a great job of raising these kids," he explained. "It's very disappointing that one person that would make such an ignorant and bigoted comment ... in 2023; it's disappointing that it's still out there."
Anthony Independent School District also released its own statement:
"The regrettable remarks are a disheartening reality of the enduring presence of prejudice that can occur anywhere at any time. No adult should tear down a student/athlete in this despicable manner."
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