A Moraga parent sparked a recent inquiry at Montgomery High School by alleging that a racial taunt was directed at his son by a student in the Montgomery stands during a North Coast Section playoff soccer game.
“Two things seemed to perplex those I spoke to who were present at the game,” Rupert Dusauzay Jr. wrote in a letter to The Press Democrat.
“First, was how could such a quality team that exhibited such great sportsmanship have such lowlifes for fans? Second, was how could they make such a comment when their goalkeeper (Jordan Page) appeared to be bi-racial? … The fact is that having a bi-racial or African American goalkeeper did not stop the Montgomery fans from bringing that crap to the game.”
Speaking publicly for the first time about the Feb. 20 incident, Dusauzay admitted he did not witness the event firsthand.
But in the letter and a subsequent phone interview he insisted that his younger son, Solomon, heard the offensive remark, aimed at his brother Rupert Dusauzay III, while sitting on the bench during the first half of the Vikings’ Division 2 quarterfinal game against Campolindo.
So, apparently, did several Campolindo parents and players.
Dusauzay Jr. says that early in the game, somebody yelled, “No. 6, we’ve got some bananas for you!”
Dusauzay III, who wears jersey No. 6, is African-American.
Dusauzay Jr. says that while his son kept his cool, several of his Campolindo teammates immediately rushed to a referee to complain about the slur.
The referee called time out and trotted to the Montgomery sidelines to alert coach Jon Schwan. Athletic director Dean Haskins then made a beeline to the small but vocal group of Montgomery students attending the game, reminding them of proper fan etiquette.
Dusauzay Jr. later sent a letter of complaint to Montgomery High principal Laurie Fong expressing, among things, concern for Page, the Vikings goalkeeper. Dusauzay Jr. also included a DVD of footage he had shot at the game.
This video depicted the less inflammatory jeers Montgomery fans directed toward Campolindo players as the game was decided on penalty kicks, but did not include the earlier racial taunt; Dusauzay says that happened before he began filming.
Fong said that after receiving Dusauzay’s letter she inquired among students, Haskins, a vice-principal who was at the game and at least one parent who was in attendance.
“I could not track it down,” Fong said. “I went around saying, ‘Hey, listen, getting this letter from another high school, I’m mortified, I’m concerned. Is this true?’ Everyone said no.”
Fong said that she considers the matter closed.
A Press Democrat reporter covering the game and standing along the Montgomery sideline did not hear the banana comment. Fong later called Campolindo principal John Walker to discuss the matter.
“He said he didn’t hear of it either, not even from the parent,” Fong noted. “Certainly if that’s something coming from us, I’m sorry we missed it.”
Dusauzay Jr. said he got a call from Walker on Tuesday.
Dusauzay Jr. wrote to The Press Democrat after seeing a Feb. 27 story on the topic of questionable fan behavior at high school sporting events. That article included the referee’s warning during the soccer game at Montgomery, but lacked details that Dusauzay Jr. later provided. He said he is pleased that Fong is proactive on these issues and noted that he never intended to make a “federal case” of the alleged taunting.