MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — Following Westinghouse’s State Championship game against the Southern Columbia Tigers, members of the Westinghouse community alerted Pittsburgh Sports Now to racially insensitive statements made by Tigers’ supporters.
Over 90% of Westinghouse’s students are African-American, per the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Southern Columbia is 95.1 percent white, with just .5 percent of their student body identifying as African-American.
Southern Columbia’s sports teams posted images of a school pep rally to Facebook, including one of a poster that said “Whip Westinghouse” with a drawing of a whip.
A TikTok surfaced after the game with audio containing the n-word as the people who were recorded raised a sign the PIAA gives players on the championship winning team.
After hearing of the Facebook posts, Westinghouse assistant coach James Cowart said that he didn’t hear any racial remarks during the game.
“There was some chirping going on on the field, but none of our guys made any reference to any of it being racist,” Cowart said. “Those signs [are] unfortunate, and in poor taste, but I don’t think they reflect anything that I witnessed out of their players or coaches.”
Cowart expressed his disappointment with the TikTok, but said that “regardless of the things that have been brought to light, they beat us fair and square and I don’t want to take anything away from their win.”