In a strange reaction to a colorful incident at an Ohio middle school, a 15-year-old student has been punished for using a phrase popularized by the Fox Sports announcer Gus Johnson in the Madden football video game series while announcing a middle school football game.
As first reported by the Sandusky Register, the Margaretta School District announced that it had punished a 15-year-old who had said the following of a player who is of Haitian descent: "He's got that getting-away-from-the-cops speed." The player was competing for a 7th grade team from a school from the Edison School District, which was visiting the unspecified Margaretta middle school.
The Register reported that the unnamed student's punishment will not be revealed by Margaretta officials, though district superintendent Ed Kurt made it clear that they had taken corrective actions.
"We worked with the student, and we hope this is a learning experience," Kurt said. "We want to move forward in a positive fashion."
The reaction to the in-game quote has been both rapid and relatively fierce. The teen announcer has been threatened with bodily harm on Facebook by those who were offended by the call. That in turn has led local detectives to investigate the issue and determine whether harassment charges should be filed against the aforementioned Facebook commenters.
In the meantime, the boy and his parents insist that the high schooler learned the phrase from the uber-popular Madden 12 video game, which frequently will declare that a player has "get-away-from-the-cops speed," on touchdown runs, particularly when the player in question is of African American descent.
The quote was first used by Fox announcer Gus Johnson, who credited Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson with the off-the-cuff intended compliment on a run in the video you see above.
"Watch out! He's got getting-away-from-the-cops speed!" Johnson said during the broadcast of a Titans game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Because the quote has been used on both television and video games before, the teenager's parents claim that he was punished unfairly and are now investigating a potential lawsuit against the Margaretta district.
As of now, there is apparently only one figure in the story who hasn't made his opinions felt: The ball carrier who inspired the quote in the first place.