ANKENY, Iowa--On Friday Ankeny Centennial hosted Des Moines Roosevelt and ran away with a victory, but after the final whistle, one white Ankeny Centennial player may have delivered a message to an African American Roosevelt player that can only be categorized as hate speech.
"The allegation is that there was an exchange that went on between two students on the field that had racial overtones to it," said Jennifer Owenson, Ankeny Community School District HR Officer.
Roosevelt parent Victoria Olsen Daniels took to Facebook Friday night and said it was her son, Matthew Daniels on the receiving end.
"After beating us by lots and lots and lots of points, one of the Ankeny Centennial players greeted my son, who is probably the nicest boy in the world, as follows in the handshake line:
"f___ you, n_____. I guess I'm naive. I'd hoped this generation was beyond that, but you know what? I'm sending out some love to that misguided young man right now because clearly there is something not right in his heart. I hope he finds peace."
Ankeny school officials say they begin each athletic season with a meeting on sportsmanship that all athletes, coaches and fans must adhere to but they believe more may be needed.
"All of the coaches will be again talking about sportsmanship like behavior with students. The Ankeny staff, coaching staff and especially the administration is disheartened by the experience the student said he had in Ankeny," said Owenson.
Des Moines Public Schools Communications Director Phil Roeder responded with a statement saying, "Based on the information that has been shared with me, our Roosevelt student-athlete should be commended for showing sportsmanship and dignity in response to a deplorable comment. As Iowa's largest and most diverse school district, we expect our students to be shown respect as well as show respect. it's sad, to say the least, that anyone in the year 2016 would ever think a racial slur is appropriate. it needs to end."
Owenson says it is an open investigation at this point. Victoria and her son were originally willing to be interviewed but Roosevelt employees urged them to stay off camera at this time. Extra security was on hand as a precaution for Monday afternoon's ninth grade football game in Ankeny between the same two schools.