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Incident at Genesee vs. International Academy of Flint game leads to police investigation

Friday Night Football

GENESEE TOWNSHIP - An incident in the first quarter of Friday night's varsity football game between Genesee High School and the International Academy of Flint has resulted in an investigation, Genesee Township Police confirmed to Mid-Michigan Now.

According to Genesee Township Police Lieutenant Robert Watters, one member of the officiating crew was injured in the incident. Watters confirmed it is a criminal investigation.

According to the MHSAA, the referees at the game reported that things flared up about seven minutes into the game (during the first quarter). The incident resulted in the game being called with Genesee leading 12-0.

The officials reported to the MHSAA that five players from IAF were ejected. No players from Genesee left the sideline or were ejected.

Both coaches were commended by officials for trying to settle things down, according to the MHSAA.

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Genesee High School issued a statement Monday saying:

We are extremely disappointed in the lack of sportsmanship demonstrated by the opposing team Friday night.

Our staff, police and some parents went above and beyond to ensure no one else was injured after fights erupted on the field. We are working with International Academy of Flint (IAF) and the Genesee Township Police in an investigation and will take all applicable steps to attempt to ensure this will not happen again. All future regular season games with IAF will be cancelled for the safety of our school community.

If you have further questions, please direct them to the Genesee Township Police Department.

Genesee High School officials clarified that the statement "applies to all sports for this school year at this time."

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Lieutenant Watters said an officer was assigned at Genesee High School for precautionary reasons.

International Academy of Flint issued the following statement:

International Academy of Flint (IAF) made a commitment to our students and our community to conduct a thorough investigation following the incidents that occurred this past Friday evening at the football game against Genesee High School. We understand that IAF was contacted by several media outlets in response to the quick to judge, place blame statement received earlier from the coach and administration of Genesee. We appreciate the patience surrounding our official statement and we are very disturbed surrounding the situation as a whole.
It did become apparent after our initial review of game tapes, that it was uncovered a member of the Genesee’s chain gang (chain crew) ran out onto the field and inserted himself into the altercation between an IAF player and a Genesee player. It is documented that the young man from Genesee came in from behind, pulling the jersey of an IAF athlete, which is absolutely unacceptable. This action should never have occurred under any circumstance. Instead of deescalating the situation, the young man from Genesee (a former student) became physical and assaulted a member of IAF’s football team. This unfortunately ensued a disruption onto the field, increasing emotions and escalating the situation further.
While IAF’s administration and the Board of Directors does not condone any inappropriate and unethical sportsmanship conduct by any IAF student or staff member, IAF equally does not approve of social or racial injustice of any kind. This relates both to internally with our students and staff as well as any team that we play within our conference. Unfortunately, the outcome of IAF’s initial investigation of game tapes, social media posts, and interviews with our students we uncovered that IAF student athletes and cheerleaders did experience social / racial injustice on behalf of the students, parents, fans, staff, and administration at Genesee.
IAF is fully committed to maintaining a safe, positive school environment where all students, staff, parents/guardians, visitors, and community members are treated with respect and dignity. Certainly, there are actions on behalf of IAF that did not embody respect and dignity and we are handling this on an individual basis. However, equally so, members of Genesee’s school community should have ensured that their fans did not engage inappropriately, follow and/or ridicule our student athletes and ensure the safety for IAF’s students, just as they did for their students.
We welcome the opportunity to discuss this further, share video footage, and share social media postings surrounding this with the local law enforcement assigned to the investigation.
Kendra Giles
Interim Director

If you have any information regarding the case, call Genesee Township Police Department at (810) 640-2000.