Last week, a central NJ town was rocked by allegations that freshmen on the football team were hazed. Sayreville quickly cancelled its football season, upsetting parents. But now one parent claims that the hazing was sexual in nature.
It would start with a howling noise from a senior football player at Sayreville War Memorial High School, and then the locker room lights were abruptly shut off.
In the darkness, a freshman football player would be pinned to the locker room floor, his arms and feet held down by multiple upperclassmen. Then, the victim would be lifted to his feet while a finger was forced into his rectum. Sometimes, the same finger was then shoved into the freshman player’s mouth...
According to the parent, whose identity is being protected because the parent feared retribution against the family and the player, the routine was initiated when an upperclassman would enter the locker room and make a wolf call or howling noise.
“[For] 10 seconds, the lights would go off and they would grab a freshman and they would go on,” the parent said. “Right on the floor. … It was happening every day. They would get the freshmen.”
He added: “Kids would just sit around and witness [stuff] like this.”
NJ.com adds, "The parent, informed by his son and other parents close to the investigation, is the first to come forward to reveal the hazing practices [Sayreville schools superintendent] Labbe has characterized as 'incidences of harassment, intimidation and bullying as constituted by the definition within the anti-bullying statute that took place on a pervasive level, on a wide-scale level, and at a level in which the players knew, tolerated, and in general accepted.'"
At first, Sayreville forfeited one game, but then the school district decided to scrap the whole season. Another parent who said her son was questioned by the police said, "They were talking about a butt being grabbed. That’s about it. No one was hurt. No one died. I don’t understand why they’re being punished. I think that the forfeited game was punishment enough." However, a different parent said he saw freshmen players getting dressed outside of the locker room to avoid the alleged intimidation.
A former Sayreville High School football player said coaches were rarely in the locker room.