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Black high school football player files discrimination suit

Cyril Josh Barker | 10/5/2017, 11:15 a.m.
A Black former high school football player is reportedly filing a $1 million lawsuit against Lenape High School in Medford, ...
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A Black former high school football player is reportedly filing a $1 million lawsuit against Lenape High School in Medford, N.J., according to reports.

The case, now in federal court, involves Kenya Williams Jr., who says he was the victim of racial harassment over the course of two years. While on the football team, Williams claims he was referred to as “grease monkey” and called the “n-word” by his white teammates.

Although Williams told school officials about the harassment, the lawsuit claims nothing was done. He also claims he was ostracized by coaches when he complained.

Along with verbal harassment, Williams claims that his clothes were found in the trash when his locker was given to another teammate. He was also denied playing time on the field and did not get a varsity letter.

“Several Caucasian players retaliated against Kenya by taunting him and calling him ‘snitch Kenya,’” the suit says. “Since Kenya received a varsity letter the year prior, and played in multiple varsity games, even scoring a touchdown, there was no reason to deny [him] his varsity letter. This form of racial discipline [shows] the structural racism [that] is unequivocally part of [the] Lenape School District.”

In response to the lawsuit, a spokesperson for the school said that little could be said because of pending litigation.

“The Lenape Regional High School District Board of Education is dedicated to providing all our students with a progressive education and extracurricular opportunities in a safe, secure environment, notwithstanding any allegations to the contrary,” the spokesperson said.

Lenape High School has a student population of just over 1,800 and is nearly 70 percent white.