On Saturday, Oct. 8, an all-Black Bethel Park, Pennsylvania youth football team was harassed and turned away from concessions after a few players took a knee during the national anthem.
Woodland Hills head coach Marcus Burkley Sr. and his teenage players were called the n-word by fans in the bleachers after some players knelt in protest against police brutality. That following Sunday, the coach took to Facebook to rally and encourage his players after Saturday’s event. However, he was still shocked by what happened.
In an interview with WPXI Channel 11 News, Burkley says his team defeated Bethel Park. But police were still called out to keep the peace.
“It seemed like everything started once the national anthem started. Two or three of my players took a knee,” he says. “Once they took a knee, you see cameras and people taking pictures. And out of nowhere you hear, ‘If the little N-word want to take a knee, they shouldn’t be able to play.”
Burkley tells reporters that his players and some of their parents were denied service at concessions as well.
“They just said, ‘We’re not serving you Woodland Hills people. This is for Bethel fans; it’s our senior day.’ But with all that going on, it seemed like another attack.”
The coach says he has never experienced anything like this in the two years coaching in the Parkway Youth Football League.
“Those three or four bad apples, however many people were saying that stuff, doesn’t represent the town of Bethel Park.”