VILONIA, Ark. – A high school football game is drawing the wrong kind of attention after a commentator made controversial comments about one of the players.
The statement was made on a live stream of the September 10th Maumelle, Vilonia high school football game.
A hit from Maumelle senior and Arkansas commit Nico Davillier caused chaos in the press box, with Vilonia’s EagleVision volunteer commentator Corey Eary saying the move was a late hit and calling the teenager a “thug trash player.”
Davillier was called off the field for a penalty, but the comment outraged fans and parents from both schools.
Maumelle mom Danielle Simmons says there’s no excuse for insulting a student and adds the unkind language could have lasting consequences for young players.
“It’s tasteless for children to witness that,” Simmons said. “I can’t even stress that enough, they’re children. What you say to them is what they become.”
Vilonia High School released a statement soon after the comment went viral, saying in part while EagleVision and Eary weren’t sponsored by the school, “These comments do not align with the core values of Vilonia High School.” The full statement can be found below:
Maumelle head coach Kirk Horton over the phone said it was “unfortunate” that a grown man would make a comment like that about a student and added that Davillier was a good kid and an excellent player. He also said that he hasn’t heard from Eary regarding an apology, although Eary says he has tried to reach out to Nico and his family.
Eary responded to his comment in a written statement sent to KARK, Fox 16. He said he got caught up in the game, explaining in part, “I will make no excuses about what I said nor will I try to defend my comments. It was wrong…I want to extend a sincere apology to Nico Davillier and his family. I’m sure that he is a great young man and my comments were never about him as an individual.”
The full statement reads: “I am a volunteer commentator and one of the co-founders of our EagleVision broadcast team. We operate independently of the school to bring sports contests to our fans. During the live stream broadcast of our game Friday night with Maumelle, I made some unnecessary and inappropriate comments towards one of the Maumelle players. I will make no excuses about what I said nor will I try to defend my comments. It was wrong. I got caught up in the moment of a highly contested game and made statements on certain plays that I should have let the referees handle on the field. I have made efforts to reach out to the family to offer an apology; however, I have received no response to my attempts so far. I want to extend a sincere apology to Nico Davillier and his family. I’m sure that he is a great young man and my comments were never about him as an individual. I wish nothing but the best in the remainder of his season with the Maumelle hornets and his future as an Arkansas Razorback. Thank you. Corey Eary.”
Even with an apology, parents like Simmons say they want something to be done so that comments like these are never again directed at students.
“There should definitely be some type of training,” she said.
By the end of Friday’s game, the Vilonia Eagles went on to beat out the Maumelle Hornets 34 to 32.