Not a member? Become one today!
         iBerkshires     Berkshire Chamber     Berkshire Community College     City of Pittsfield    
Pittsfield High's Perry: 'I want accountability!'
Staff reports,
03:31PM / Thursday, March 14, 2024
Print | Email  

Malachi Perry makes a play Monday over Old Rochester's Robert Spenard, a captain and starter on the Bulldogs' boys basketball team who has since been benched over Monday's spitting incident.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Pittsfield High School student who was the victim of a spitting incident in the state basketball semi-finals issued a public statement on Wednesday reacting to the assault and calling for consequences against the offender and his school.
Malachi Perry penned a letter dated March 13 that was shared on social media by Kristen Shepardson, Perry's legal guardian and the mother of Generals' senior Makai Shepardson.
In the thoughtful letter, Perry names the offending player from Old Rochester Regional High School, discusses Perry's own reaction to the incident and asks what it shows about the state of sportsmanship in interscholastic athletics and the reaction of state officials to the incident on Monday at Worcester State University.
Also on Wednesday, the Old Rochester Regional School District on the South Shore announced that the player, who admitted to spitting on Perry, is no longer with the varsity boys basketball team that, on Saturday, will play for a Division 3 State Championship in Lowell.
"On behalf of my teammates and myself, I would like to express our disgust and overall frustration with the heinous act that occurred at Worcester State University on March 11th," the letter begins. "We are all aware of what took place during the game, and I think it goes without saying that this traumatic experience robbed my teammates and myself of not only a once in a lifetime opportunity but of our dignity and safety.
"While the act itself was devastating to me, personally, the fact that these actions impacted my teammates in a negative way is equally as devastating. I feel it ultimately robbed us of a legitimate chance to advance in the state tournament. Outside of basketball, I would like to ask whoever may be reading this: How would they feel if they were in my shoes? How would you react? What would you like to see done?
"I would like this experience to be a chance for everyone to see and feel the injustices we felt as minority players in a predominantly white environment. I feel confident that if I was the one that spit at a white player, I would have been removed from the game and likely put in handcuffs. All I wanted to do was show up, play hard and try to win a basketball game, and now it has become so much more than that. That being said, I feel it is my duty to stand up for those without a voice and be the mouthpiece for those that don't have one. I want to be heard, I want my feelings and my anger to be validated, and I want to help ensure that those that follow in my footsteps don't have to experience anything close to this vile. I want accountability!
"I am requesting that action be taken. I want to see No. 15, Rob Spenard, be held accountable. I want the coach from Old Rochester to be held accountable. I want Old Rochester Regional School to be held accountable. I want to know why the coach didn't intervene and pull No. 15 from the floor? I want to know why and how the officials 'didn't see anything,' and why the MIAA officials in attendance didn't step in to defend me when it was clear to most in the arena what had happened? I want to know why bad sportsmanship was rewarded and why a criminal act went unpunished. I want to know what might have happened if I wasn't assaulted. My team and I are owed at least that.
"Off the court, it needs to be known that the fans of Old Rochester were using racist slurs towards my teammates and I. The hate with which they were speaking was tangible and is completely and totally unacceptable. MIAA events are supposed to encourage sportsmanship, and yet this behavior is allowed? To me, by allowing this behavior, you are encouraging it to continue, and that is never going to be acceptable."
More Featured Stories is owned and operated by: Boxcar Media 106 Main Sreet, P.O. Box 1787 North Adams, MA 01247 -- T. 413-663-3384
© 2008 Boxcar Media LLC - All rights reserved