FRANKLIN, MASS. (WHDH) - The new head of high school sports in Massachusetts addressed allegations that have recently surfaced against some student-athletes in the state.
Bob Baldwin, the executive director of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, promised change following recent allegations of racism, hazing and sexual assault involving some high school athletes.
“We have a problem and we have to deal with it,” he said. “Enough is enough.”
On Monday, Danvers High School parents expressed their outrage after learning a hockey player told school officials in June of 2020 that he was repeatedly hit in the face with a sex toy when he refused to shout a racial slur. In another locker room ritual called “Gay Tuesdays,” the player said the team stripped and he was touched inappropriately.
This fall, coaches and players from Roxbury Preparatory Charter School said they were subjected to racial slurs and taunts during a game at Georgetown High School.
Back in March, Duxbury High School football players allegedly used anti-Semitic and other offensive language while calling plays on the field.
“We have courses that are being put together, one of which is a prerequisite to play winter sports so, not only will there be a course that student-athletes and everyone have to go through but they’re also going to take a pledge,” Baldwin explained.
Baldwin said he does not want to intervene in the work the individual schools are doing but that he wants to support them in any way he can. In response to these recent allegations, the MIAA has passed a new way of tracking diversity, equity and inclusion.
“Schools will be able to report any and all instances, it’s an ability for us to track and to hold accountable,” said Baldwin.
The head of school sports added that he hopes these changes and better role-modeling will help keep these issues from happening but fears more are still to come.
“These behaviors by our students, they’re learning it somewhere, they’re seeing it somewhere,” he said. “It’s time for us to change our behaviors as adults so they know how to act.”
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