October 04, 2011
An ugly brawl in California has led to some of the most dire consequences in recent memory for the teams involved, with the Sacramento City Unified School District announcing that it was forcing both teams involved in a game-ending fracas to forfeit their forthcoming football games this weekend as part of punishment against them.
According to the Sacramento Bee, Sacramento Unified Superintendent Jonathan Raymond made the decision that Sacramento (Calif.) McClatchy High and Sacramento (Calif.) Kennedy High would both be forced to forfeit one forthcoming game a piece after the two teams were involved in one of the most brutal on-field altercations in recent years at the end of their game on Friday. The incident -- which was caught on tape -- lasted nearly five minutes and included most members of both sidelines before it was finally brought to a halt.
The final five minutes of the intra-city rivalry game was canceled after the brawl was stopped.
"I believe this action is necessary to ensure that an incident of this sort is not repeated in Sacramento City Unified," Raymond said in a media release. "This kind of behavior is against the tenets of good sportsmanship and will not be tolerated in our community. There is no excuse for what transpired. Both teams need to earn back the respect they lost on the field last weekend. I feel strongly that athletics in our district is a privilege not a right."
While the forfeiture of games garnered most of the headlines from the fight, it was hardly the only consequence of the teams' actions. The Bee reported that coaches, athletic directors and team captains from both squads will be brought together for a sportsmanship summit between the two teams during the week, and the entirety of both teams will have to participate in a yet-to-be-determined community service activity over the weekend.
Additionally, three McClatchy players will be suspended for an additional three games after their team returns to action following Saturday's forfeit. Kennedy coach Henry Lusk has yet to announce any individual disciplinary measures against his players who were involved in the melee.
Now, Raymond and everyone else affiliated with both schools are simply looking to put the entire ugly incident behind them.
"This is an embarrassment for our community and we are all anxious to put it behind us," Raymond said in the release. "The best outcome is that we use the incident as a teachable moment...."