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I could not ignore the DeLaSalle story

Written By: Terry Foster | March 13, 2012

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Why did you do it? Why didn’t you ignore it?

Those are a couple of questions I got in the aftermath of my Warren DeLaSalle-Detroit Martin Luther King column in today’s Detroit News. I did not write as much about the game as what was happening outside the game. King blew out the Pilots 72-50 and the outcome was totally unexpected. I expected a close game. It didn’t happen and King fans began the usual Good Bye chants.

The DeLaSalle student section was frustrated because its team did not win. It fired back with a “We have a future.” You could see the shock on the faces of the cheerleaders and some of the fans who sat nearby. I sat near mid court and two guys next to me said: “What did they say?”

I saw anger and one guy said he wanted to go over there and threaten the students’ future. Meanwhile a guy wearing Pilots purple lectured the group. You could tell he was angry.

This was real life playing out in front of me and an issue I did not want to ignore. I wrote the column because I want people to understand the society in which we live. Class, economics, race, social standings still play a role in how we view people and what we think of them. It has been pointed out to me that DeLaSalle students poke fun of economics at poor suburban students. But does that make it right?

A lot of people are struggling and why make fun of their them? The neighborhood around King High School has struggled for years. There are abandoned houses, drug dealers and crime. I admire the kids walk through the carnage and get an education. Their commute to school is a lot tougher than the commute to DeLaSalle.

I wrote on my face book page that people are mean to each other. This is another prime example. I am not here to give you the happy stats of sports all the time. I want you to be aware of the world you live in. And I want to send a message to some of the DeLaSalle students. You don’t know how many people wanted to walk over to the stands and threaten your future. But they let the anger subside and simply went home.

 

 

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40 Responses to “I could not ignore the DeLaSalle story”

  1. Jacob Says:

    Terry, DLS has been making these chants for years. To public schools around the area, in part to the chants thrown at them… “You like boys” and other homosexual like comments. It is how those chants came about. You shouldn’t just target DLS but student sections across the state. This has never been an issue until they went into the city and said this.

    Reply

    • Alex Says:

      This blog and comment are so ridiculous. Couldn’t agree more with this comment. ALL Catholic League schools get hit with “Daddy’s trust fund” and “Hooommooos.” To make DLS look so bad for this is absolutely ridiculous. You are better than this Terry

      Reply

    • Maria Says:

      Yeah, but as someone who attended Catholic school in the Detroit area and still attend a Catholic university, I think that these boys should have known better. They should have maturity and class. They should represent the Catholic institution they attend well. “Builders of Boys, Makers of Men”? This shows that they haven’t learned anything.

      Reply

  2. Ashley Says:

    They never know, some of those King students could be their boss one day.

    Reply

  3. Dave Jakes Says:

    My kids go to another school in the Catholic league. What happened is just embarrassing to me. I’ve long thought that the Nah nah nah nah, hey hey goodbye chant needs to be retired (great song, not great sportsmanship), but it doesn’t even come close to justifying the response. Really sorry this happened.

    Reply

  4. Rob Says:

    Terry, while two rights dont make a wrong, how come no issue is ever made of the constant homosexual jokes and harassment that we were/are subject to at DLS? In my four years there, this very same issue you speak of came up but no one ever defended the abuse we took. of course, we had thick enough skin to get over what really amounted to a little childish heckling.

    As for Mr Jakes, do not put yourself on a pedastal sir. we heard similar things from our CHSL brethren many times.

    Reply

  5. Pilot alum Says:

    People hurled homosexual slurs at our hockey team almost every game and we always told PSL fans that we had futures…no one ever took issue with either of those happenings. Now that its happened to some poor black kids in the ghetto it makes national headlines..double standards are out of control today. If blacks want to be treated equally they should throw away the race card and stop expecting preferential treatment..OR…maybe prove the dls students wrong…but that would take too much hard work.

    Reply

  6. Brooks Rohrbach Says:

    Why single out DLS? This reminds me of the whole KONY deal. Its been going on for years at every school but now you say something? Almost every time, our chants were responses to “De La Sausage” and “De La Fag” chants and comments making fun of us for having purple as one of our colors. I had plenty of friends at DLS from Detroit who chose to go there because DLS offered them tremendous opportunity they would not have had at Detroit Public Schools. Parents and Alumni donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to the school each year so DLS can continue to provide a great eduction to anybody, regardless of income. So please, do not make DLS out to be this snobby, classless, homogenous student body. The school has provided opportunity to thousands of young men who would have likely not gone on to some of the top universities in the country had they attended their local public school. (Myself included) Thanks.

    Reply

  7. Dave Lewinski Says:

    This story puts me in a really fowl mood. I went to DLS and my parents made a lot of sacrifices to send me there. A huge reason they sent me to a private school was not just for the education but to instill in me certain VALUES and characteristics. None of which are evident in the student sections response to “Nah nah nah nah” which is an innocent chant that does no harm vs “We have futures” which is just classless.
    And JACOB: WHO CARES IF SOMEONE MAKES HOMOSEXUAL REMARKS TO DLS STUDENTS? We are a catholic institution and are taught to turn the other cheek. Weird that you would bring it up since there is no evidence from the story that that was taking place last night.

    Reply

    • Jacob Says:

      Dave Lewinski…what makes homosexual comments okay? those can be just as offensive as we have futures to some people… the values are taught but kids are kids…and were you at the game? doubt because you would have heard the comments terry failed to mention from the perfect and almighty King students. Like yours, my parents made sacrifices to go to a CHSL school and we made those chants and even heard them from other schools…its a basic thing in high school GET OVER IT

      Reply

      • Terry Foster Says:

        and i have ripped fans for homosexual chants in the past when I heard them if that makes you feel better. But no one cared when I wrote about that.

        Reply

      • Dave Lewinski Says:

        I never said homosexual comments are okay. I said DLS kids should turn the other cheek when faced with the situation. No I wasn’t at the game and I didn’t need to be. You’re not getting the point Jacob. We shouldn’t excuse prejudice behavior and just chalk it up to “kids being kids”.

        Reply

    • Jeremy Says:

      dave, your weird, were you there? thats a common chant….you dont need evidence, just common sense. all boys school have been subjected to that chant a crossed the entire country. i guess since Terry doesn’t reference it then Dave doesn’t believe it? i hope you like the wonderful people at the game are able to restrain yourself from doing something physical with your fowl mood.

      Reply

      • Dave Lewinski Says:

        Jeremy, What’s the point of hurling an insult at me at the start of your reply? And again another fantastic argument. “All boys schools have been subjected to that chant across the entire country.” So? Of course it doesn’t exist if Terry doesn’t reference it. That’s totally logical. Lastly why even make the last comment? I never threatened to do physical harm because it would never cross my mind. You’re pretty silly to even suggest things getting “physical”. This is a discussion not a bar fight.

        Reply

  8. Rob Says:

    pardon my error. thats two wrongs dont make a right.

    Reply

  9. Pepper Longstocking Says:

    Only you could turn it into a race issue. Do you even realize how ignorant you sound? Wake up Terry its the year 2012. To even suggest these chants had anything to do with race makes you more of an idiot then your colleague Pat Caputo. I am a dls alum and can tell you first hand that those chants have been going on for years and they are not targeted at African Americans but of course you being who you are you have to interpenetrate it as such. These chants are used to counter the, “you are gay” and “where’s your girls?” chants. But your right dls students are just looking to put down the inner city kids thats what we do we want to oppress them. Are you that dumb? There kids being kids but you can’t see that because every time something remotely racist happens you want to call the NAACP and make a big uproar over something so stupid. Did you realize the white community didn’t have to go to a newspaper and write about when P Diddy at the Dunk Contest said “black power”, and raised his fist in the air. Now imagine a famous white man such as Billy Crystal raising his hand in the air and saying “white power”, I can promise you that you would have an article written and published before that dunk contest was over. Now I ask you this what is more offensive? The “we have futures” chants or being spit on by Finney fans young and old after we lost to them in the Reginoal Semi-Finals in ’08. But you got all the answers Terry. Way to put down a very good school because you have the power to get your “moronic” opinion in a newspaper that everyone in the state of Michigan can read. This isn’t a race issue as much as you want it to be. You should be embarrassed because instead of compiling all of the facts you decided to write this non-sense. And I promise you it is because your some reason thought this to be racist. Your an embarrassment, now wonder Valenti doesn’t respect your opinion. Opinions like these deserve a lobotomy. Get your head out of your ass and think before you write. Everyone isn’t out to get the African-American community like you think. Idiot.

    Reply

    • Terry Foster Says:

      I never mentioned race in the column. I said this is mostly a social issue and economic issue. You assume race because of the circumstances. If this was a nothing story then why did the DeLaSalle official storm down to the students and lecture them ? Why did people get pissed at the game? I am glad I did not ignore this issue. Why should I? Give me a good reason?

      Reply

      • conan Says:

        You should have ignored it Terry because it is an everyday chant in high school sports. Get over it. What are your thoughts on the gay comments heard every game to CHSL schools. Never heard an article about that. DLS did the same chants the game before and no one in the Macomb area even bothered with it b/c Warren Mott fired back with their own “Daddy’s trust fund” and “you like boys” chant. It’s high school sports, kids will be kids. get over it.

        Reply

      • Pilot Grad Says:

        Cut and pasted – look at the 3rd word:
        Class, economics, race, social standings still play a role in how we view people and what we think of them.

        Reply

      • Pepper Longstocking Says:

        Let me quote you oh so wise Terry.
        “You would think the schools from the Catholic League would have learned a lesson months after an anonymous “ghetto legends” letter made its way to Detroit Cass Tech after a victory over Catholic Central in the state football finals.”
        Now any intelligent human being would tell you that, that letter was specifically about race. But were you not referencing the race aspect in the letter? And its not that I think its about race its that I know its about race with you. There is a pattern in your writing that makes me sick to my stomach. For you to focus on that aspect of the game over the game its self tells me all I need to know about you. The entire first half of your article was about the “mean” chants. For someone that makes fun of Rob Parker as much as you do, you sure sound a lot like him.

        Reply

        • Pepper Longstocking Says:

          “Class, economics, race, social standings still play a role in how we view people and what we think of them.”
          When did you mention race in the column? There you have it right there so even if you are going to try to weasel out and say that the “ghetto legends” reference had nothing to do with race now there is the evidence that shows the entire reason you wrote this article. Say it with me Terry RACE. R-A-C-E. Now eat your words and go back on that radio show of yours where you will always play second fiddle to Valenti.

          Reply

      • Pepper Longstocking Says:

        I noticed you have yet to respond Terry old buddy. Should I take your silence to mean that you are admitting you were wrong? You love to cut people off radio when they are proving you wrong so let me do that to you now. Your primary response to everyone today on your show is that DLS kids should know better. How come the MLK kids shouldn’t know better? That for some reason never came out of your mouth. You had no idea if the MLK kids said anything you heard what you wanted to hear and didn’t do any research. Don’t they teach you that in Journalism 101? You set out to paint the picture that DLS looks down at the inner city kids because they go to a private school. Congrats you did a great job doing that. You gave a fat black eye to one of the best high schools in Michigan for what? So you could make people aware of how mean people are to each other? No you had an axe to grind because you considered it to be racist. You know that and I know that. If this chant was said at Eisenhower, (which it has been many times), would you still have wrote what you wrote. Let me answer that for you. HHHHHHEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL NOOOOOOOO. I’m sorry Valenti has stolen your thunder but this was not a way to try to get your name back in the lime light. Admit you were wrong and should have known both sides of the story. You love to comment on peoples posts with “Please respond.” So please respond.

        Reply

  10. Dave Says:

    Hey Terry, you ever go to a UM vs. MSU game….I think you might hear “flip our burgers” or “we have futures” there too, as well as responses in kind from MSU students. Also, I wasn’t aware scholarship offers say anything about an athletes character or their likelihood of succeeding in the future. Do you know that the Cass Tech player will be successful down the road just because he is a good athlete? I guess there is no chance of breaking team rules, failing academically, drunk driving, stealing, assault or anything else you hear from Big Ten athletes. This article is pathetic. These chants go on between all different schools, not just affluent private schools and inner city schools. This isn’t limited to Detroit or Michigan either. You’d only have to go as far as Toledo to witness similar. And what exactly is your point about people from Cass Tech wanting to “alter” the futures of the DLS fans? Are you applauding them for not starting a fight because of a cheer from some17 year olds? Are you saying they are the bigger people for not fiting, stabbing or shooting the other fans?

    Reply

  11. Donald Randazzo Says:

    This is absolutely ridiculous. One of the great attributes of high school sports is the rivalries. Students go back and forth with chants all the time. I just find it funny that DLS gets called out now, when we are playing a black DPS school, and by a black journalist. Terry Foster is making this issue about race. He found a way to be known and took it. Lets look at the stats though. The graduation rate at DMLK is less than 60%!!! Maybe Terry should focus on that and less on chants. Its the same story with these DPS school. Their academics are beyond horrible, but they excel at sports. Lets stop giving them attributes about sports and start education people of the real problems. Terry Foster should be ashamed of himself for bringing race into this issue. As a graduate of DLS I know that how the system works and know that we are students flourishing in academics, not just sports. Where was Terry Foster when it was 2 white schools and there was chants about homosexuality? No where to be found.

    Reply

  12. Pilot Grad Says:

    As a DLS grad, I was sad to see that this happened, and I was embarrassed to see it in the paper, but it should be kept in context. That said – Your column and blog seem to be a calculated attack on a GREAT School and makes a broad generalization of the institution as a whole. I’d encourage you to look a little deeper into the what DLS stands for, the quality of education it provides its students and service its students provide to the community before you continue asserting that that racism and cultural elitism is at the core of the DLS curriculum – I assure you they are not! Your characterization of DLS as a whole is based solely on an isolated incident of crowd banter among competing schools which happens all across the state. I’d consider this journalistic negligence, but par for the course by today’s standards.

    I remember using the same chants when I was an undergrad when we would play HW Notre Dame, or Fraser, or Roseville. No one cried racism then. No one cries racism when we hear the same chants coming from Brother Rice or CC student sections tagreted at us. It’s kids being kids. But trust me, there will be consequences for the students involved brought down by school leadership.

    I can only imagine how you might have reacted during a game in 1988 when an opposing student section held up a 30 foot long, painted banner stating “(School Name) doesn’t want A.I.D.S. – Acceptance Into Dela Salle.” As a student body, we were pissed, but not really that offended, cuz after all, it was pretty funny.

    Reply

  13. Spinball Says:

    Mr. Foster, the DLS official stormed down on the DLS students as he should have, but where was the MLK official to storm down on their students? All the MLK (adult?) fans wanted to do was to go “threaten the future” of DLS high school kids. That my friend is the difference.

    Reply

  14. Jeremy Says:

    Terry, I hope your head has only been burried in the sand the last 20 years, becuase these type chants have been common everywhere for a looooooong time. I guess maybe it stung becuase its true? The graduation rate in these schools are common knowledge at this point. Nothing else makes sense to me why there was the response you seen and heard. I have attended closer to 15 high school games this year with similar chants. You ever go to a spirited high school girls volleyball game? Man the people you were sitting by would surely be popping rounds into the stands ending futures if they attended those games.

    Reply

  15. Donald Randazzo Says:

    This article is offending DLS students, parents, and alumni is the context. You are saying that we “poke fun” at poor economic students. That is false. De La Salle does so much work in the Detroit Community. We have programs like Adopt a Family and Focus Hope. Then you talk about the commute? We have students that drive over an hour to come to De La Salle. That not only says something about our academics, but also our moral reputation. DPS is suffering because the city is allowing it too. Not because of Catholic, Private schools. Write an article about graduation rates, and school shootings in the Detroit area. And who are you to say DLS families are not struggling? Parents do whatever it takes to send their child here. That may be working multiple jobs, cutting back on spending, whatever. I bring race into this because that is what our society is all about. There was never any article about how we were treated from Muskegon fans in 2007 for football. There is no article about the racial slurs and threats said to me and friends in the 2009 basketball game against Detroit Pershing at Cass Tech. It is always a double standard and always will be. You bring race into this when you call DLS out now, against a DPS school when the roles are reversed. When we are not the ones being disrespected. When we are not the victims of racism.

    Reply

    • Rob Says:

      hear hear Mr Randazzo. Well put. You hit it right on the mark. Dont forget about the finney game a few years back either.

      Reply

  16. Pilot Student Says:

    This whole thing has been blown way out of proportion. These chants have been said by the student section at every game in the playoffs and the situation should not be any different here. The students at the start of the game all agreed not to do these chants but as the game progressed and it became apparent that they were oging to lose they started to realize it would be their last basketball game and that started to make them want to do the chant. Also the King students started chanting “You are faggots” and they all held up their middle fingers. The same cheerleading coach that you interviewed also told the student section “Good luck making it to your cars tonight” implying that something was going to happen to the students. This information somehow didnt make it into your article and if people had read about this stuff as well I dont think it would’ve put DLS into such a bad light. It was a completely unfair and biased article and while it doesnt justify that the chants were innapropriate, the DLS students are not as in the wrong as you are trying to portray them to be. And as far as this being a race issue, the only reason you wrote this article is because you feel this is a race issue. If it was a predominantly white school this article never wouldve been published or even written in the first place. Please respond and do not ignore this

    Reply

  17. Frank Caliendo Says:

    A few years ago a De La Salle student tore up a 100 dollar bill in front of a poor neighbor hood’s fan section and just dropped it there.

    I was an employee at one of the schools and it wasn’t surprising.

    It’s sad that DLS fans do take any responsibility for what they said, they just say we’ve been doing it all the time.

    Well I seen them about 15 times last season including the East Detroit and UNiversity of Detroit games and not once did they chant this.

    Who is to say that it wasn’t a DLS fan who wrote the letter to Cass Tech after they demolished CC?

    Reply

  18. dls student Says:

    terry…. let’s be honest. your only trying to satisfy your Detroit “brothers.”

    Reply

  19. Mick Says:

    Nix a former Michigan Mr. Basketball at Detroit Pershing High School has been suspended indefinitely from Spartan basketball program following his arrest Monday night on charges of marijuana possession and operating a vehicle with the presence of drugs.

    Just wondered how his future was looking and if he would be flipping burgers anytime soon?

    This article was as dumb as the “Let the poor NFL players smoke pot” article!

    Reply

  20. Donald Randazzo Says:

    Are you kidding me Caliendo? It is absolutely ridiculous that you are accusing a DLS person as the one who wrote that letter. Do your homework. CC found out who wrote the letter and who sent it and it was not a Pilot. That conclude me even wasting my breath on your comments.
    And Terry Foster, why did you not talk about what was said to the De La Salle fans at the game? Is it because you did not even ask? Our students and parents where told that they would not make it out of Detroit. Detroit parents/students threatened ours. I know this because I asked. I did not write an article before learning what was said on both sides. I just wish I was a journalist so I could write a story about intimidation and lack of respect shown by Detroit MLK. Both sides need to be heard.

    Reply

  21. Tom Says:

    Is it just me or do these DLS supporters come of sounding arrogant and racist in this comment section?

    Reply

  22. Doug Says:

    I went to HW Notre Dame. I am black and I am not gay. My parents were poor. I lived in Detroit and walked to school because we only had one car. As a 17 year old I probably would have chanted the same thing. Terry get over yourself!

    Reply

  23. Mark Says:

    Mr. Longstocking…don’t kid yourself…the chant was racist…come on….”we have a future”….implies the Detroit students do not….I am a white guy from the suburbs and believe me that was racist and was intended to be. Instead of defending the behavior maybe you should talk with the fans of DLS and show them how hurtful what they were chanting was. My son went to a suburban school…baseball player and believe me when I say that when the team had a game against a Detroit school the fans that traveled with the team made all kinds of racist remarks….it is not only a DLS thing…it is a class thing…an economic thing…a racist thing…and it is sad. What’s more sad is that people like Mr. Longstocking can’t see the behavior for what it is and help to correct it….

    Reply

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