After Taunting Female Goalie, School's Students Are Shut Out

Vulgar chants prompt ban on fans in seventh through 12 grade
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2021 9:10 AM CST
School's Students Can't Attend Games After Vulgar Chants at Female Goalie
The Mars Hockey Club's goalie was the only female player on the team.   (Getty/KaraGrubis)

(Newser) – After a female goalie was subjected to vulgar chants and jeers throughout a hockey game, students from the opposing Pennsylvania school have been barred from the stands for the rest of the season. The prohibition applies to students in grades seven through 12 at Armstrong Junior-Senior High School, the New York Times reports. The leaders of the chants have been disciplined, officials said, but the punishment wasn't announced. A former president of the league, Robert Sebastian, suggested he would "suspend every student involved until they made a video apologizing and posted it, so they can face the same kind of scrutiny that this poor young lady did," per WTAE.

The goalie, whom officials did not identify because of safety concerns, was the only female player on her team, the Mars Fighting Planets. Hockey is a club sport in the region, run by parents and boosters rather than high schools. "We are hopeful that the attention this incident has drawn will shed light on the issues our female athletes face which must not be tolerated," the Mars board of directors said in a statement. The Armstrong River Hawks' coach endorsed the decision, per KDKA. "It should have been stopped," Eddie Germy said. "For our kids, they enjoy having the student section here but not something like that."

The only Armstrong students allowed to watch games will be siblings of players, provided they come with a parent or guardian. Security guards are being added. The team itself is on probation for the rest of the season, subject to discipline for future violation of the terms. Students as young as seventh graders were in the section doing the sexually explicit taunting, officials said. Olympic champions were among those expressing public support of the goalie, per the Times. "Every time you take the ice, women & girls all over the hockey community are proud of YOU!" Meghan Duggan tweeted. "You represent so much more than the hateful words that were directed toward you." (Another taunted female player in Pennsylvania answered jeers with goals.)

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