RI Interscholastic League responds to call for action against Burrillville athletics

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BURRILLVILLE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Soccer Association—a group that organizes and promotes adult amateur soccer throughout the state—took to social media over the weekend, requesting that Burrillville schools be punished for an incident reported last month.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, the group called on the Rhode Island Interscholastic League (RIIL) to suspend Burrillville from athletic competition for a year.

The post was in response to an alleged incident that took place during a girls’ volleyball game at Burrillville High School on the night of Sept. 24. Central Falls student-athletes were reportedly subjected to racist taunts from the Burrillville fans.

On Monday, the RIIL Executive Director Thomas Mezzanotte released a statement regarding RISA’s post, saying the league has asked both districts to look into the incident.

“Upon completion of those investigations, the RIIL Principals’ Committee on Athletics will review all information and render a decision,” he wrote.

Mezzanotte also noted that the RISA has “no affiliation or standing” with the interscholastic league and its member schools.

In a letter to parents last week, Burrillville Superintendent Dr. Michael Sollitto said: “Any representative of Burrillville High School found to be making inappropriate comments towards opposing players on any team has faced disciplinary action.” No specifics were provided.

Sollitto went on to say the high school formed a diversity council last year and is committed to “recognizing and addressing issues of equity and diversity” while educating students and staff about the importance of respecting people from all cultures.

Eyewitness News has reached out to the Rhode Island Soccer Association for comment.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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