Paulsboro-Phillipsburg Wrestling Tourney Shelved After Photo Controversy
By David Madden
PAULSBORO, N.J. (CBS) — A wrestling rivalry between two New Jersey high schools is being put on hold, after an online photograph went viral.
The photo surfaced in February, and it’s considered by some to be a racial slap in the face. Some white members of the Phillipsburg High School wrestling team celebrated a win over Paulsboro High by taking a picture of themselves surrounding a dummy, clad in a Paulsboro High t-shirt, hanging by its neck from a rope.
Many in Paulsboro thought the picture crossed a line, and Phillipsburg has since apologized.
But wrestling coaches in Paulsboro thought it wise not to face Phillipsburg next year, and Paulsboro schools superintendent Walter Quint agrees.
“We certainly do not feel that what happened in Phillipsburg represents their school or their community in any way, but we also have to respect the feelings of our citizens that were offended, and rightfully so, and hurt,” he tells KYW Newsradio.
No sanctions have yet been imposed by state athletic officials, who continue to look into the incident. Quint suggests the traditional rivalry might resume at some point.