When a high school football game gets national airtime on ESPN, it's a big deal. When that game pits two state powerhouses against each other, it's an even bigger deal. And when those two teams sit just miles apart but have somehow never competed against each other before? That just makes the entire affair all the more intriguing.
That unique mix led to plenty of hoopla surrounding a Labor Day matinee matchup between Daphne (Ala.) High and Spanish Fort (Ala.) High, two schools with state title-contending football programs in one of the Southeast's most football mad states. While both offenses struggled to get into gear in the first half, the matchup eventually picked up, with the Spanish Fort Toros pulling out a 20-14 win.
Unfortunately, the Spanish Fort fans never dragged themselves out of the gutter. As the sign above seems to indicate, they were there from the start of the game.
As noted by BuzzFeed and a variety of other outlets, Spanish Fort fans showed up for their nationally televised home game with a huge homophobic banner intended to insult their opponents for their choice of school color: purple. Specifically, the sign above, if correctly unfurled (which it isn't in the screen grab you can see) reads: "Purple? Man, that's gay."
If ever there was a depressingly obvious and downright sad yet completely inappropriate high school motto, there it is.
There has been no official punishment for the Spanish Fort fans who brought in the sign, or those pictured on national television laughing at it. School officials told Alabama NBC affiliate Local15 that the students who held up the banner and those around them were spoken to after the game, and on Monday were "spoken to by the principal and he, believe me, will carry out a disciplinary action."
Yet perhaps there doesn't even need to be additional punishment. After all, anyone who sees the sign now will form their own opinions about the Spanish Fort student population, unfair though that may be. Of no fault of their masses, the Toros suddenly have a new homophobic reputation to defend against, and that might be punishment enough.
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