BROCKTON Spark News – In the final minutes of the MIAA D-1 south section quarterfinal boys basketball game on Friday night, March 4, Brockton had cut their double-digit deficit to only five points, but the writing was on the wall. A block of Mansfield High School student fans — dressed in red, white, and blue, and many waving American flags — began chanting “USA” and patriotic music began playing over the loud speaker. To many of those present, including former Brockton High School student Noube Rateau, the chants were a blatant implication that Brockton players and fans — many of whom are immigrants — were un-American. “It was the USA chant as a taunt that got me mad,” Rateau explained. “I didn’t get the sports concept behind it. The fact that it was so planned was the worst part.” Brockton School Committee member Brett Gormley did not attend the game, but when he heard about the fans’ behavior he sent an email to the Mansfield School Committee.“It happened when I was playing,” Gormley said of what he called the “racially charged” taunting. “It’s not a surprise anymore. I’ve seen it happen with many teams (against Brockton).” Rateau, who recently spent time traveling to dozens of high school games across the state filming his documentary Out of Bounds: Sports in the Inner City agreed that he saw “isolated incidents” of race-based taunting, but, “not as planned or orchestrated as Mansfield.” Brockton High School boys basketball coach Bob Boen said he did not take notice of the chants on Friday night.“When I’m coaching I miss the chants. I don’t really hear what they’re saying,” Boen explained. “I’m usually yelling at the kids on the court, so I don’t hear the crowd much. “I don’t think any of my players were upset about it though. We got a good level-headed group…I even tell the team before every game, don’t listen to the crowd. I just thought the USA stuff was their theme. I mean, we’re USA too, Brockton USA. I was under the impression it was just USA night and we were there.” “I teach high school so it’s personal,” Rateau said. “I’m here for the (Brockton High) students,” Gormley said. “We have to protect them.”
A bunch of people sent me this story. The Mansfield Student section getting accused of being racist for chanting USA, USA, USA against Brockton. It was such a preposterous claim I figured there may be some truth to it. Like some underlying intent that would reveal itself when I read the story. I was wrong. The guy who got offended was looking for trouble. Just travelling to different high school games throughout the state to make a documentary called Out of Bounds. He was looking for something to complain about. He was looking to make a stink. He’s what I call a trouble maker. Taking offense to things nobody else on planet earth would take offense to.
I mean look at this quote from the Brockton coach.
“When I’m coaching I miss the chants. I don’t really hear what they’re saying,” Boen explained. “I’m usually yelling at the kids on the court, so I don’t hear the crowd much. “I don’t think any of my players were upset about it though. We got a good level-headed group…I even tell the team before every game, don’t listen to the crowd. I just thought the USA stuff was their theme. I mean, we’re USA too, Brockton USA. I was under the impression it was just USA night and we were there.”
So let me get this straight. The Brockton coach wasn’t mad. The players weren’t mad. The only guy in the entire gym who was mad was the guy who was writing a book about how inner city teams get treated unfairly. The guy who went in with an agenda. The fact this story got any publicity is a joke. I mean what is Brockton playing with illegal immigrants or something? I’m sure every player on their team is an American too. If you take offense to people chanting USA you should probably leave the country.