Dennis Norfleet leads Detroit King to "Uncomfortable" Victory

Submitted by Marley Nowell on March 13th, 2012 at 12:59 PM…


The chants went back and forth until the DeLaSalle student section took it to another level — "We've got futures. We've got futures."

Later they chanted: "Flip our burgers. And you are stupid."


Very unfortunate that things like this still happen.




March 13th, 2012 at 6:36 PM ^

If your goal is to end harmful racial stereotypes, I'm not sure that reinforcing the idea that socioeconomic class = race is productive. Nor is it particularly productive to teach young people that those of different races must be treated differently (even if that difference is positive).

To the extent that this is offensive, it is because the current socioeconomic status of the student body is actually harmful and also beyond their control. This is equally true whether you're talking about poor white kids at a crappy school or poor black kids at a crappy school.

As with most things, there was a South Park about this that makes my point more eloquently than I can.


March 13th, 2012 at 7:24 PM ^


But pretending that race and class don't overlap in incredibly powerful ways across the metropolitan landscape of Detroit is to deny the history of how those places were made by twin historical forces. 1. The legally and extralegally enforced housing segregation that made suburbs predominantly white and Detroit predominantly black, that lasted from the 1930s to at least the 1970s, and 2. the deindustrialization of the auto industry dating to the 50s (when all those plants in Detroit itself began to be shut down). These kids didn't make those places or those policies, but they live within the landscape they created, and it shapes their views of each other. They're a big part of the reason why Macomb County is 93% white, and Detroit is 83% black, and why, even though both counties are largely working class, Macomb has far more wealth (mostly in the form of individually owned property) than does Detroit. 

Harmful racial stereotypes, and ideas that some people don't have a future don't come out of thin air, and they don't today primarily lie today in the hearts of bad, prejudiced people. Instead, they lie in the patterns of metropolitan development that have shaped this region and this country for the past 70 years, that have invested tremendous amounts of wealth in some places and little in others, and mean that people come into contact with those unlike themselves less and less frequently. 

It's all well and good to search for productive ways to end racial stereotypes, but as long as our built environment keeps people radically separate from each other, there's a limit to shared experience of the same spaces, which is the most effective way to end racial stereotypes.

Or, read this...



March 13th, 2012 at 1:20 PM ^

When I was at Brother Rice these types of chants were somewhat common between Rice and CC (especially at hockey games).  They were kind of funny somewhat like when Ivy League schools make fun of each other's degrees in a nasty way.   (i.e, rich kids poking fun at each other). The admins never liked it and it went a bit far somtimes. 

But, I don't remember it ever being directed at public schools.  It might be funny or at least forgettable among kids in the same socioeconomic bracket (i.e., see MSU pizza guy jokes), but it is cruel when it is directed at people that might take it "seriously" to some degree because they face different challenges in life.

I would venture a guess that it probably didn't occur to the idiot chant leaders at DLS.  But, it should have.


March 13th, 2012 at 1:36 PM ^

When Lahser would play Andover in football, Chants of "We've got Jesus" and "You killed Jesus" were far from uncommon with Lahser being comprised of WASPs and andover made up of mostly Jews and some Catholics. An interesting tidbit of the matter is that some, if not most of Lahser High School isn't very religious to say the least. 


March 13th, 2012 at 1:16 PM ^

Anyone else think the ending to that article was a little, off.  

"In other words, Norfleet is probably one of those inner-city kids who will make it in life."


To me, it almost gives credibility to wha the De LaSalle students were chanting by saying most of those inner city kids won't make it.  Maybe I'm looking at it too much, it just kind of jumped out to me when I read it...


March 13th, 2012 at 1:16 PM ^

Complete immaturity...young and dumb.

Only part of article I disagree with was the inference that the letter sent to Cass Tech had anything to do with CC or the Catholic League...that was just some random bigot being ignorant.


March 13th, 2012 at 1:17 PM ^

One of my d-bag "friends" on Facebook  who is a De La Salle alum is ranting that the writer of the article (Terry Foster) is pulling the race card. Not quite sure how far his head is buried in the sand.


March 13th, 2012 at 1:22 PM ^

They'd have mentioned in the article if Norfleet's future teammate was in the crowd, and tried to get his opinion.

Shane has proven himself very mature and a consumate professional. Furthermore, he knows Norfleet is his future teammate, so he's not going to do ANYTHING to mess that up. Finally, he hasn't signed an LOI yet. If he goes around doing really stupid things like promoting racism, don't think Hoke won't pull his offer.


March 13th, 2012 at 1:40 PM ^

I'm glad Shane was above all that.  Sometimes boys will be boys and they get taken back in the moment.  I remember some pretty nasty chants from my high school's student section.


March 13th, 2012 at 1:22 PM ^

Just playing devil's advocate it that much worse than when we cheer "Can't read, can't write" to Sparties?

Kids in high schools are assholes and they'll say anything, and that's why they are kids. I think back in horror, as when I was in HS, we found out that the star player on the team we were playing's mom actually cleaned the houses of several of our students. As kids, we naturalyl used this as ammunition, and chanted "Clean our house" and such whenever he touched the ball. But our principle soon came over, we were told these chants were inappropriate and told us to stop.

I think we have to remember these are kids, kids can be cruel, and they are immature. It is the adults at these events that have to step in and make a difference. 


March 13th, 2012 at 1:41 PM ^

It is also good to draw attention to these types of things to let the mass immature kids know that it is not acceptable.  Be the devil's advocate all you want and I completely respect that, but I believe there is a major difference between those chants about Sparty and this example.  A college degree is a shining star for anyone that holds it, even from the schools that we make fun of like MSU, OSU, SEC schools, etc.  On the other hand, and very unfortunately, a lot of Detroit kids don't have the best prospects.  If you don't have the right guidance, it is very difficult to break the mold. 

Sgt. Wolverine

March 13th, 2012 at 1:24 PM ^

There should be school leadership on site to shut that down immediately. On multiple occasions during local high school athletic events in my town I've seen administrators immediately step in and shut down insulting chants. (They've never been insulting to the degree of those in the OP, but they still cross the line.) The more I see, though, the more I get the impression that's not the norm. That's kind of sad. High school kids are going to say and do dumb things -- there ought to be leadership there to let them know when they cross the line.


March 13th, 2012 at 1:25 PM ^

All those kids who pay to go to dls can one day soon pay more to be regular people in the stands while norfleet molds his future on the big house turf while earning his Michigan degree....for free. Something tells me he should be just fine in the having a future department


March 13th, 2012 at 1:30 PM ^

From reports from people there, sounds like it was a lot more back and forth racially than Foster would make it seem. 

That being said, I agree that it's a little unfair that it's ok to say that stuff to fellow Catholic League schools, but not to anyone else.

THAT being said, "We have futures" seemed a little excessive, because as a graduate from a different Catholic League school, we all know DLS kids don't have futures :)


March 13th, 2012 at 1:50 PM ^

That being said, I agree that it's a little unfair that it's ok to say that stuff to fellow Catholic League schools, but not to anyone else.

No. It's not. That's like saying "I think it's unfair to say that I can mock my party animal friend for drinking too much, but I can't mock an alcoholic for drinking too much."

In this, as in all things, context is key.


March 13th, 2012 at 1:38 PM ^

Warren DLS is still on the East Side, so they don't have a whole lot to brag about.   I'm sure Novi CC fans give it to 'em good when they cross I-275.



March 13th, 2012 at 1:40 PM ^

hand out my business card to MSU fans during our annual matchups while introducing myself to them as “their future boss”. 

I guess its a bit of the pot calling the kettle black, I have always thought of  my shinanagins as fun and cheeky but I feel like this crosses a line.


March 13th, 2012 at 1:49 PM ^

DLS has been doing the same chants for 25+ years when they play ANYONE.  Is it childish? Rude? Crude? Worse?  Probably.  Is it Racist in its intent? probably not.  Should they be smart enough or should some administrator be smart enough to know that someone like T Foster would spin it that way..  in 2012...  yes. 



March 13th, 2012 at 1:50 PM ^

and as an African American, I can remember doing somewhat the same thing when we played any high school that wasn't from the West Side..and private. Still, the Jesuit Brothers would NEVER let us demean the opposition by walking up to that line where the cultural/racial suggestion would be challenged. I put it on the adults. As we should.