Junior Dominic Shaw said the lacrosse field is his safe place, but his heart stopped when a recent game against Olentangy Berlin turned from competitive to discriminatory
PICKERINGTON, Ohio – For the junior class Pickerington Central High Schoolthe lacrosse field serves as a safe place, but after a recent incident on the field, he’s not so sure.
Dominic Shaw said he had never experienced racial tension in a game until a recent game against Olentangy Berlin.
“Lacrosse means a lot, I mean I’ve made a lot of friends, now I consider them family because of the game of lacrosse,” Dominic said.
Now he is sharing his story in the hope that it will change the community for the better and encourage people to take racial incidents more seriously. He also hopes it encourages better communication between parents, players and school districts on both sides.
“While both teams are competing and having fun, this incident kind of crossed the line, it made me feel a certain way. It’s like I pass the ball to one of my teammates and the dude comes up to me and says other things and then says the N-word pretty much.”
Dominic said the word stopped him in his tracks.
“I was in total shock at that point,” he said.
Dominik said that he went straight to the referee, the coach of the other team and to himself, but nothing happened, the game continues.
“I mean, I talked to my folks [athletic director] after the incident they said they would contact Berlin [athletic director] and try to deal with it. After the game, their coach came up to me and said that they had dealt with it, but it didn’t seem like anything really happened.”
He said he can’t believe this is a reality in 2023. Dominic is now asking for real consequences and for the player to come forward and talk to him.
“I’d like to think that people will try to better themselves, but it kind of hurts to know that this is still going on and it’s not like I have to suffer through it, but other people younger than me are trying to get into the game, it can keep them from playing.”
His father, Carl Shaw, says he will not tolerate any racial discrimination and is proud of how his son handled the situation without violence.
“It saddened me, just because he did everything right, he went to adulthood,” said Carl. – I am proud of him. I’m very proud of the young man he’s grown into because he handled it the right way.”
Dominique wants to share her experience with the world so that no child ever has to face it again.
“We wouldn’t be here if they did anything about it,” Carl said.
10TV reached out to the local Pickerington School District, which declined to comment on the incident.
A spokesperson for Olentangy Berlin provided 10TV with the following written statement:
“Administrators at Berlin High School became aware of this complaint, acted immediately and investigated what happened. The Olentangy Athletic Handbook states that racist or offensive comments or actions directed at others by any Olentangy student-athlete or athletic team will not be tolerated. We cannot discuss disciplinary information for any student at any time.”