Saturday, December 9th, the state Class 5A football title was won by Miami Northwestern High, thanks in part to Antwain Easterling, its 19-year-old running back who "started despite admitting being part of sequential consensual group sex with a 14-year-old girl" in the school's restroom. Following is a remarkable excerpt from a Miami Herald sports editiorial by David J. Neal, a black writer:
"Where was one subatomic particle of halfway decent adult guidance that there are consequences for unacceptable actions? Easterling's mother, other family members, even a man of the cloth, went to the school Friday and made a plea for him to play. Great lesson.
"Northwestern coach Roland Smith didn't say 'no play.' Northwestern principal Dwight Bernard didn't either, and was too gutless to explain to parents of young girls why he allowed a student who said he committed a sex crime on campus to represent the school. Dade County Public Schools superintendent Rudy Crew didn't overrule Bernard.
"In other words, three black men completely abdicated their role as community leaders and role models in a manner that parallels the way too many of my brothers desert their parental responsibility.
"And so is the example set for the continuation of several cycles that's not just sad. It's sick. "
You said it, Mr. Neal-- and better you than O.W.G. Last time I looked, if a white guy ever said anything like this, he'd be tarred and feathered-- figuratively speaking-- by African-Americans. Maybe that's why most of us keep our mouths shut. You can't blame us, even Bill Cosby gets the heat from "you people" when he "says it like it is." Of course, this story on its surface isn't really about race, its about winning at all costs, not doing the right thing, and setting the wrong example for kids, but in America, it's always about race in the end. We urge you to read the editorial before the Herald cuts it from its website.
Oh, yeah, keep an eye on this kid-- we're sure Antwain Easterling will get recruited into a top college and go on to make more money than you and I can ever dream of. As ex-con Don King would say, "Only In America!"
UpDate (2/8): Yesterday, a rather subdued Easterling signed with Ol' Miss.
UpDate (March): Easterling is busted and later fined for marijuana possession.
UpDate (6/4): Because of a grand jury investigation, principal Dwight Bernard is booked into Miami-Dade county jail on two third-degree felony counts of official misconduct. The Miami Herald also notes that Echezabal was promoted to sergeant after the police union complained of retaliation. To see an amazing video of Bernard getting arrested and led to jail plus a look at the state attorney's palatable discuss with school administrators, click here.
UpDate (7/11): Superintendent Rudy Crew fires the head coach and the entire football staff.
UpDate (9/14): Miami Northwestern becomes national champions by beating Texas high school football team Southlake Carroll in front of a national TV audience at SMU's Ford Stadium.
UpDate (2/24/08): Southern Miss suspends Easterling for violation of team rules. It is the second punishment for Easterling who was placed on indefinite suspension for a violation of team rules in November.