Miami Central coach allegedly sent hate mail from Hoover fanPosted: Updated:
The heat surrounding the Hoover-Miami Central high school football game is rising after the Miami coach allegedly received a hate letter from a Hoover fan.
The anonymous letter addressed to Coach Roland Smith included racial language, according to Hoover police.
The Hoover Police Department was first notified about the letter on Friday afternoon.
"We want to find the origin of this letter. We want to see who sent this letter," HPD Captain Gregg Rector says.
He says they are not sure yet whether anything in the letter rises to the level of the crime, but they are still investigating.
"It's not acceptable. It's disgusting to see anything racially charged in this day and age and it's not something we want to tolerate," Rector said.
The Hoover police presence at the game won't change on Saturday, Rector said. The had already planned to have multiple officers inside the stadium and outside to direct traffic.
Rector said the Hoover Police Department is no stranger to big games and they've been preparing for this game for weeks. He added that he hopes the fans and players will focus on the game and not be concerned about safety.
Captain Rector says he thinks Miami Central fans will be pleased with the reception they'll receive in Hoover.
William Clark, the Alumni President for Miami Central High School, said he learned about the letter when he attended practice on Thursday.
He said the coach showed it to him, but didn't want to focus on it.
"The gist of the letter was, 'Hey, n------, remember after we kick your a----, make sure your people pick up their chicken bones and red cups from which they drink their Kool-Aid and drink their liquor and take it back to Miami," Clark said.
Clark said he's speaking out about the letter because he's concerned.
"We are not castigating all of Hoover's fan base. We understand they have a great fan base and tradition. We just want to bring notice that fringe individuals like this have no place in high school sports or any other sports," Clark added.
"It's unfortunate that here we are in Hoover with two of the best teams in the country over the past few years, talking about some misguided individual as poosed to talking about the great things both programs have accomplished over the years," he said.
Hoover City Schools released the following statement about the letter on Friday:
"Hoover City Schools would like to extend a warm welcome to Miami Central, and we look forward to an exciting football game on Saturday. While we are aware of an anonymous letter received by Miami Central, we want to assure players, coaches, and fans that the unfortunate comments reportedly contained in that letter are not at all representative of our community. Hoover Police will conduct an investigation into the letter's origin once they have been provided additional information. In the meantime, our focus remains on preparations for Saturday's matchup."
Miami Central, which USA Today ranks as No. 8, will play No. 3 Hoover in an ESPN televised game on Saturday at 11 a.m.
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