Principal apologizes for pregame Nazi speech
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Part of a Nazi leader's speech was played over the public address system before a high school soccer game, prompting an apology by the home team's principal.
Forestview High School principal Robert Carpenter said neither he nor his team's coach knew about the speech before the 90-second excerpt was played during warmups Saturday, according to a letter he sent Monday to visiting Charlotte Catholic High School.
The speech, by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, was in German. Carpenter said in the letter the team had adopted the slogan "On to victory," and a German exchange student who plays on the team had taught other students how to say the phrase in German.
"Some of our more zealous students sought to capture this slogan in German and to play it on the PA," Carpenter wrote.
School officials said two players had downloaded the speech off the Internet, and no adult heard it before it was played at the field, The Charlotte Observer reported Wednesday.
Catholic coach Gary Hoilett said his squad was "just real shocked."
"All of us stopped and looked up at the booth," Hoilett said.
Hoilett, who is black, said some Forestview players also shouted racial epithets at his two black players. Gaston school officials said they interviewed 14 people, including coaches, officials and players, but did not find conclusive evidence of that.
Hoilett called the Forestview principal's apology "lame."
"You don't toss something like that to the corner," he said.
The Gaston County district will now require school personnel to listen to any recording before it is played over the public address system.
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association was investigating. If wrongdoing is found, penalties could include probation, fines or loss of home games.
"It's really hard to fathom in this day and time," association spokesman Rick Strunk said.
Forestview won the playoff game 1-0.