Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Monessen parents claim Brentwood students taunted with racial slurs

When Monessen High School's boys basketball team is playing well, few teams in the WPIAL are more enjoyable to watch. The Greyhounds blend athleticism, depth and great shooting with team-oriented players molded by veteran coach Joe Salvino.

Monessen ranks as one of Pennsylvania's more tradition-rich athletic programs, and the basketball team ranks among all-time WPIAL leaders in section titles, district titles and state championships.

Last year, Monessen won the WPIAL Class AA title and made it to the PIAA semifinals. This year, behind a balanced blend that includes point guard Jalen Madison, athletic wing Jaisen Irwin, Division I football prospect Chavas Rawlins and tough guy Earl Pinkney, Monessen once again is in the championship conversation.

Monessen, the Observer-Reporter's No. 1 Class AA team, is 20-1 - the lone loss by one point to Imani Christian, a charter school waiting on WPIAL membership. The Greyhounds take on all comers - be it Class AAAA powers or Class AAA traditional powers. And, behind the legendary Salvino, they normally win.

Over the past 43 games, Monessen is 41-2.

Monessen's racial makeup and the program's incredible success playing up in classification (remember the school is small even by Class A standards), sadly make them the occasional target of student sections. Such was the case when Monessen played a Section 3-AA game last Friday at predominantly white Brentwood.

When Monessen called the game results to the Observer-Reporter, I took the call and was told, "They don't like us up there. It was ugly."

Part of the conversation also included hearing how Rawlins, a quarterback being courted by numerous Division I programs, was run into the wall behind the basket by a Brentwood player and allegedly kneed. Rawlins returned to the game, but he mentioned being in pain following the game on his Twitter account.

Then, I read this column in the Valley Independent.

The story is gaining considerable momentum nationally and Monessen, deservedly so, wants answers for what happened. That's why parents of players turned to area television stations.


Anonymous said...

Mike, being a graduate from a school with a similar demographic make us as Monessen (Clairton), I can tell you that Brentwood has some of the WORST students and fans with regards to racial and ethnic intimidation that I have ever witnessed. When I heard this story it didnt surprise me in the least. Our football team over the last two decades at least has been the target of these students and fans...yelling racial slurs at our students, vandalizing cars after games, throwing bricks at our buses, you name it. I am glad that Monessen brought all of this to light. Anyone that doesnt believe Brentwood would do something like this has never been to a Brentwood athletic contest when they are playing a team like Clairton or Monessen. That school district disgusts always has, it always will. Clairton and Monessen have their share of problems...but I will take the people of those two towns over some of those people from Brentwood any day of the week. Check out the Clairton Bears facebook page for more stories from former Clairton players and parents under a link to that story.

Anonymous said...

Johnny Gamage - 1995

prexie said...

wash high has had problems with mt pleasant over the years they played at their field. the n word has been used numerous times out on the field in football, unfortunatly in front of officials and nothing has been done. they are now back in the same conference. it does go both ways however. clairton kids were calling our white kids crackers.