VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Local youth football coaches are under investigation by their league after a video was posted on Facebook showing them leading players in a vulgar pre-game chant.
A concerned parent shared the video with 10 On Your Side, saying he doesn’t agree with kids being taught to act this way. The chant includes the N-word, as well as other vulgar language.
10 On Your Side learned this video features 11- and 12-year-old football players on a team in the Hampton Roads American Youth Football and Cheering league. The video was taken on Sunday before a recent game at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex.
League officials say the video does not accurately represent them or the 95 teams that make up their organization.
“I don’t know what those coaches were thinking,” said Timothy Clark, the football commissioner for Hampton Roads American Youth Football and Cheering. “That’s not what we do in this league. That’s not the character of this league.”
Clark said the video violates the league’s conduct and social media policies, including the use of derogatory language and speech about other children and teams.
Clark said the video has been removed from Facebook, and he and the league president are investigating the incident. There will likely be consequences for the coaches, which will be discussed at the league’s next board meeting.
“We can’t do anything about parents, but we can do something about coaches and volunteers,” Clark said. “This is not what our league does. We’re the biggest league in the state of Virginia, and that’s not a representation of what our league is about.”
Since our 4 p.m. story went live, Kevin Simmons, a coach for the team, reached out to 10 O Your Side.
He said he believes it was a child — not a coach — who was leading the chant.
“At the end of the day it should be our responsibility,” he said. “We should have had better judgement on that.”