MIAMI (CBSMiami) – High school hate mail sent to the head coach of Miami Central High’s football team has sparked outrage among school officials just one day before the teams big game against the Hoover Buccaneers.
The letter, sent by an anonymous person who claims to be a Hoover Bucs fan, is filled with racial slurs and insults directed at coach Roland Smith and the team.
The front of the envelope postmarked from Alabama says “Hoover Bucs #1” and there is an expletive and racial slur on the back.
“The letter said after we beat you expletive, remind the Miami fans to pick up their chicken bones and their red cups in which they’re drinking Kool Aid and liquor out of and take it back to Miami,” Central alumni president William Clark said on 560 WQAM.
Central’s Rockets are ranked No. 8 nationally by USA Today and will play No. 3 Hoover Saturday at noon in Alabama. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN.
Miami-Dade Public School District deputy superintendent Valtena Brown released a statement saying:
“A racially-charged letter, which did not contain threats, was received by Miami Central Senior High School. The letter was allegedly mailed from Alabama – where Central’s football team is scheduled to play on Saturday. It is shameful and disconcerting that a letter containing racial slurs would be used against our children. Miami-Dade Schools Police investigators are working alongside Hoover Police department to vigorously investigate this incident. The Hoover Police Department will provide security during their stay. Meanwhile, our school district is working with Hoover City Schools to minimize any distractions and to allow student athletes to concentrate on their game.”
Hoover City Schools also released a statement:
“As we get closer to tomorrow’s game, we are aware of the disturbing letter sent to the staff at Miami Central. Police continue to trace the letter’s origins as part of their investigation. In the meantime, our focus remains on preparations for Saturday’s matchup.”
Hoover Police are providing security for students during their stay in Alabama.
“We don’t take the threat or that tone very lighting,” said Clark. “It’s probably not indicative to how most Hoover fans feel. They are a class act, a class program, but we are aware particularly with the climate in Ferguson and throughout the community dealing with this black/white police and community dynamic, we know things are heightened.”
The teams coach did inform the athletes about the letter so they could be on alert, but Clark says the focus is on the game.
“Racial overtones were disgusting,” said Darryl Holsendolph, a Miami Central Alumni who has read the letter. “Hopefully our young men both Hoover and Miami Central are able to take this as a learning moment and not let the negativity that one person spewed against the game impact how they feel and think about others in this world.”