Posted on December 20, 2022

Investigation Found No N-Word Slurs at Football Game

Jason Rantz, KTTH, December 13, 2022

Lakes head football coach Dave Miller alleged his student-athletes were subject to racial taunts throughout a game against Stanwood High School.

He said he personally heard the n-word shouted from across the field, from the Stanwood student section. His assistant coach, Kory Eggenberger, called the taunts “aggressive.” He said the coaching staff reported the slurs to the referees “multiple times, but nothing was done to stop it.” Consequently, he said, his students “were subjected to these taunts for the remainder of the game.”

An independent investigation into the allegations on the football field suggests none of this happened. Moreover, the Clover Park Athletic Director, who oversees Lakes, says he didn’t hear any slurs and his coaches never reported it to him.

The third-party investigator found no evidence that players taunted their opponents with the n-word. There was also no evidence that fans from the Stanwood student section taunted players with the n-word or other racial slurs throughout the game. Media coverage has chosen not to report most of what’s in the investigation.


Head referee Steve Jensen told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH that neither he nor his team of referees heard the n-word used. He also says neither the coaches nor players ever reported anything to them.

Further, the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH reviewed video of the entire game and could not identify any slur from the stands.

The investigation only found that one student “more likely than not” used “offensive” language from the stands, though he denies it. It was offensive language in the form of a racist name (not the n-word), but the investigation notes that “Several students immediately confronted the offending student about what he said and told him to stop using that kind of language.” The investigation notes that no one in the stands heard the n-word, including students of color who told the investigator that “such an incident would have resulted in them confronting the offending student and/or reporting it to District officials.”


Though coach Eggenberger claimed that “we had players coming to the sideline enraged from the racist remarks they were hearing from Stanwood players,” the investigation reveals only two players claim they heard the n-word and other racial slurs. “Other Lakes students,” the investigation reveals, “reported in their written statements that they did not hear racial slurs at the game.”


In addition, it is unclear that shouting of such a word from the stands could be heard on the field unless it was shouted repeatedly or by a group of people. If the “N-word” or similar slurs were shouted from the stands loud enough for the Lakes coaches and players to hear it on the field, it seems many witnesses, including Stanwood staff, parents, and others in and around the student section would have heard it and responded. {snip}


“The Lakes Head Coach stated he heard the ‘N-word’ shouted from the stands during the pregame warm-up, yet he did not report this to the Stanwood coach, the referees, or his own Athletic Director who was at the game,” the investigation states. {snip}


If you read some reporting from the Tacoma News Tribune, which earlier reported the allegations as fact, you might not realize this appears to be a hate speech hoax at worse or a massive misunderstanding at best. {snip}

The Everett Herald published the headline, “Visiting football team endures racial slurs at Stanwood football game.” There were no qualifiers; they say it happened as a fact. The Tacoma News Tribune’s Matt Driscoll, a left-wing columnist and opinions section editor, wrote that readers shouldn’t be shocked that this occurred.

“Still, the situation is more than an isolated incident, which is what’s particularly troubling. This was no one-off; instead, it was a repeat performance of hatred we’ve seen too many times before,” he wrote.

After the investigation was released, both the Herald and TNT falsely claimed “racial slurs ‘likely’ used” during the game. That’s not what the investigation found. In a separate incident that allegedly occurred in the girl’s bathroom, the investigation found evidence that “one student likely used a racial slur.” But the framing of these stories makes it seem like the original bombshell allegations were sustained when they weren’t.