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State NAACP's youth division seeks investigation of football game fight

The state’s youth and college division of the NAACP on Wednesday called for “an immediate formal investigation” of the fight that erupted after a New London/Plainfield football game and the allegations that the use of racial slurs precipitated the violence.

Derell Wilson, president of the state NAACP Youth and College Division, called for a formal meeting with the superintendents, principals, athletic directors and coaches from both schools, as well as the chief of police in Plainfield.

After Friday’s game, according to New London High School Principal William “Tommy” Thompson III, a fight broke out as the New London team was walking through a group of Plainfield fans to get to the team bus. Some of the fans, “taunted the players and yelled racial slurs.”

Two former Plainfield High School students were arrested and charged with second-degree breach of peace and banned from future events on school grounds after the fight.

The NAACP is “seeking answers, accountability as well as an assurance that (the) culture of the Plainfield sports program will change,” Wilson said in a statement. “This is not an isolated incident; for years Plainfield High School has been associated racial hostilities, dating back to when I was a football player at Norwich Free Academy. I personally witnessed this culturally insensitive environment.”

The group also offered to meet with players from both football teams “to discuss cultural competency in scholastic sports or the lack thereof.”

“No student should ever have to deal with racial slurs or bigotry,” Wilson said. “This cannot continue to happen and must be immediately addressed.”

c.young@theday.com

Twitter: @ColinAYoung

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