Reaction continues to rise over a decision announced Tuesday not to play a highly-anticipated high school football game between two of the top programs in San Diego. Lincoln elected not to play in Friday's home game with Cathedral Catholic in protest over racially-charged social media postings made in the spring when the teams met.
One of the posts — reportedly from a Cathedral Catholic player showing someone wearing a shirt that read "Catholics vs. Convicts III" with the caption "We run the City" — led to sanctions against the Dons handed down by the San Diego City Conference, which oversees teams in the local school district. An undisclosed number of players were also suspended.
Among the sanctions made in the spring were a two-game suspension for the head coach Sean Doyle, the team placed on two years probation and players, coaches and parents in the Cathedral Catholic athletic program ordered to complete a seven-hour "similarity training" course.
Shortly after the postings, Cathedral Catholic principal Kevin Calkins issued a public apology for his players and students displaying "Poor character and bad sportsmanship by posting and reposting two different social media posts with blatant racist overtones aimed at the Lincoln High School community."
Lincoln officials did not believe the sanctions, apologies or training went far enough.
A statement from Lincoln coach David Dunn and signed by four administrators, including co-principals Stephanie Brown and Melissa Agudelo, was released Tuesday. See the full statement below.
Dunn told the San Diego Union-Tribune
Tuesday that though he was OK with the investigation, he wasn't satisfied with the penalties handed down.
"What are the consequences? That's the problem," he said. "What I would want to happen is something we all want to happen in this world. Can we treat each other fairly? Can we not profile one team versus another, one race versus another, one community versus another?
"Can we just play the game without extra nonsense? When we are perceived to be angry and retaliatory that puts an extra target on us in so many ways. Now, I'm making a peaceful protest because my kids aren't treated fairly."
Dunn told the Union-Tribune he has no personal issue with Doyle, he respects the longtime coach and the two have a great relationship.
Asked about the decision to forfeit, Doyle said: "If he deems this the best thing for his program, who am I to question that? I hope people respect his decision. I hope I'd get the same respect if I had to make that decision."
The two teams can't face off in the postseason. Cathedral, 8-2 following the forfeit win, will wind up in the Open Division playoffs and Lincoln (6-3), if eligible, is in Division I. The SDS playoffs require a nine-game requirement for the playoffs so the Hornets playoff chances may be up in the air.
Section commissioner Joe Heinz is expected to comment on the matter Wednesday.