‘Inappropriate,’ ‘highly offensive’ language used during Duxbury football game, school says

DUXBURY, Mass. — In a letter to families, Duxbury Public School leaders confirmed an inappropriate incident happened at a football game last week.

The school districted said, in part:

Our team used highly offensive language on the field as part of a play-call system designed to make on-field adjustments. It is important to note that while the players clearly demonstrated poor judgment, the responsibility for this incident also lies with the adults overseeing the program. In short, this was a systemic failure.

—  Duxbury Public Schools

“Anything inappropriate or certainly insensitive to another human being, there’s no excuse for that,” said Pam Johnson, who lives in Duxbury.

The district would only say the language had religious connotations and was not directed at the opposing team. Duxbury’s head football coach Dave Maimaron also released a letter apologizing for the matter Monday, saying, in part:

On behalf of the staff and players of the Duxbury High School football team, I want to extend my apology for the insensitive, crass and inappropriate language used in the game on March 12th. Using the term was careless, unnecessary and most importantly hurtful on its face — inexcusable. The staff and the team have been transparent and cooperative with administration during this time, and we have taken responsibility for the incident. We are dealing with this as a team and focusing on the lessons we can learn from this.

—  Dave Maimaron, Duxbury football head coach

“I think it’s good that the coach is apologizing, I think the kids should also apologize and get the parents involved, which I’m sure they already are,” Johnson said.

Now district leaders said the football team will need to undergo mandatory diversity training while the athletic program is reviewed to make sure elements of diversity, equity and inclusion are incorporated into the program.

District leaders said the behavior was an attack on the core values of Duxbury Public Schools and that the matter is still under investigation.