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Perrysburg, Anthony Wayne school officials say no evidence found of racial slur

Perrysburg walked off the field during a game last week when a player said a racist remark was made to him on the field.

PERRYSBURG, Ohio — An investigation into an alleged racist comment made during a high school lacrosse game determined there is "insufficient evidence" to verify the claim.

Superintendents, principals and athletic directors from Anthony Wayne and Perrysburg high schools released a joint statement Wednesday announcing the findings. Both schools, as well as the Northern Lakes League, launched an investigation after a Perrysburg player reported a racial slur was directed to him by an Anthony Wayne player during an April 28 game.

Perrysburg left the field after the player made the report.

The statement read in part:

"We are sensitive to the fact that this leaves our students and communities without a clear understanding of what happened and with more questions than conclusive answers. This can lead to speculation, misinterpretation and misinformation being shared. We ask that, out of respect for the minors involved, we begin to move forward to improve sportsmanship, foster a climate of inclusivity and rebuild the spirit of friendly athletic rivalry.

"Participation in athletics provides student-athletes with opportunities to learn self-discipline, teamwork and responsibility, but our schools are not immune to the challenges of our greater community and the issues facing our world. We know there is still work to be done and it is critical that we focus our energies toward building a culture of equity and inclusivity, empathy and understanding, respect and integrity."

The investigation included interviewing players and game officials, and reviewing game film.

Per Ohio High School Athletic Association rules, Perrysburg must forfeit the game since the team left before the game concluded, and since the game was not suspended by officials. The score will be recorded as a 1-0 win for Anthony Wayne.

Perrysburg and Anthony Wayne schools will host a meeting June 10 for area schools to begin a dialogue about moving forward and how to better communicate. Student-athletes, athletic directors, principals and superintendents from public and private schools will be invited.