Nothing screams high school football in the south like a volunteer calling a student athlete names in front of an open mic. The latest example of southern foot-in-mouth occurred this past weekend during a clash between Arkansas high schools Maumelle and Vilonia. Towards the end of the third quarter, one of the game’s broadcasters referred to the opposing team’s standout as a “thug trash player.” As expected, heat and apologies soon followed.
NEVER IS THIS ACCEPTABLE. @coreyeary and his crew should be removed from any @ArkActAssn sanctioned broadcasts and an apology issued to @DavillierNico and the Maumelle coaches and fans. Racism should never be tolerated. Your move AAA. @RRainwater1037 @VtownAthletics1 @sully7777 pic.twitter.com/WNCJFkVtKx
— HornetHog (@Steve_NSS) September 11, 2021
Trailing Vilonia in the second half, Maumelle’s Nico Davillier put a solid hit on the opposing quarterback, causing broadcaster Corey Eary to lose it. “They need to throw him out of the game. Nico is a thug trash player. I am sorry, I’m gonna call it the way that it is,” said Eary. “He continues to hit late and give extra stuff that is terrible.”
Davillier, an Arkansas Razorbacks recruit, was flagged for the hit, but underserving of the “thug trash player” label.
Eary was commenting on the game on behalf of EagleVision, which serves as the broadcast team for Vilonia’s football games. Following Eary’s comments, the school was quick to distance themselves from the production company. “We will be working closely with EagleVision to ensure that their volunteers represent Vilonia High School in a way that will make both our school district and our community proud,” said a statement from the school’s principal.
From Mr. Simmons pic.twitter.com/j32bJhvc2w
— Vilonia High School (@ViloniaHS) September 11, 2021
Upon receiving a flurry of social media backlash, Eary deleted his social media accounts and issued an apology, per Fox24 KARK: “I am a volunteer commentator and one of the co-founders of our EagleVision broadcast team. We operate independently of the school to bring sports contests to our fans. During the live stream broadcast of our game Friday night with Maumelle, I made some unnecessary and inappropriate comments towards one of the Maumelle players. I will make no excuses about what I said nor will I try to defend my comments. It was wrong. I got caught up in the moment of a highly contested game and made statements on certain plays that I should have let the referees handle on the field. I have made efforts to reach out to the family to offer an apology; however, I have received no response to my attempts so far. I want to extend a sincere apology to Nico Davillier and his family. I’m sure that he is a great young man and my comments were never about him as an individual. I wish nothing but the best in the remainder of his season with the Maumelle hornets and his future as an Arkansas Razorback. Thank you. Corey Eary.”
With southern foot-in-mouth going around, Vilonia may want to look in the direction of aspiring broadcasting students to handle the remainder of their games.