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 1:05 PM ^

Wow.  I know I've yelled some ignorant and ill advised  things at games through the years but nothing that ever reached this level, even when I was in high school.


March 13th, 2012 at 5:33 PM ^

If you can't tell the difference between groups of University students who are all paying tens of thousands of dollars yelling at each other, and a group of private school predominantly white kids yelling toward a group of public school predominantly black kids "we've got futures", then I don't know what to tell you


March 13th, 2012 at 5:42 PM ^

At the end of the day it's all just hating on those who are in a worse situation than yourselves, honestly the racially charged bit is more the icing on the cake than the cake itself. 


In any event, I just think it's sanctimonious for Michigan fans to act all up in arms about this when they themselves disparage other teams fans for perhaps being in a worse situation then themselves.


March 13th, 2012 at 5:49 PM ^

De la Salle is NOT fucking Cranbrook Academy or DCD. This isn't some 25-30 K a year elite academy where the future Mitt Romney's and Steve Balmer's are going to school. De La Salle is a low end, low budget private school where most of the families are working class. 


At the same time, Detroit King is a shit hole. You could completely revamp the ethnic make-up of the student body and the chants from the DLS students would still make sense.



panthera leo fututio

March 13th, 2012 at 9:57 PM ^

"You could completely revamp (sic) the ethnic make-up of the student body and the chants from the DLS students would still make sense."

Yes, but if we imagine a scenario in which decades and centuries of pernicious and deliberate social policy hadn't resulted in a Detroit that is incredibly segregated and that features staggering levels of under-education, incarceration, and unemployment, then we really wouldn't be talking about the same thing, would we?

If you assume away facts of material inequality, and all the stigma and divisions and other social implications that come with them, then a bunch of sort of racist stuff wouldn't be racist. But this is a pretty dubious assumption.


March 13th, 2012 at 2:06 PM ^

Not racism.  As a former pilot (who is as disgusted as anyone by this, maybe even more so), this is not based on race, but rather a public school vs private school thing. 

In many ways, it mirrors the michigan vs. michigan state mentality.  Many of these kids were in public school, but wanted to better themselves and strive to be the best, so put forth the extra work to succeed and better their situation while their public school friends were content to get by on natural talent just going through the motions.  In my case, my public school was cancelling advanced classes because of budget concerns and I didn't want to hold myself back.  So in many ways, it is similar to why many of us chose to go to Michigan, over a potentially easier road through MSU and somewhat incorrectly results in a similar attitude. Not everyone can afford to or should better their situation through a private school. 

Regardless of the reason, it's not cool and these kids should have some common sense.  An apology is warranted here for sure.  I thought the fans and players were gracious losers against Cass Tech, but not the case here.  I can guarantee the Principal will be cracking down on a few kids hard for this, and possibly the entire student body.  Consider myself embarrased as an alumni. 


March 13th, 2012 at 3:26 PM ^

I went to Rochester Adams.  We destroyed the De La Salle football team 34-6 in the 2007 playoffs.  The De La Salle student section did not cheer "We've got futures!" at us.


March 13th, 2012 at 2:45 PM ^

Well, I went to UofD and if I recall correctly, we used to chant this or other chants that were similar to this (for Catholic Central or CC we would reference OCC or Oakland Community College) at the other private schools and not public schools. The thought was although we generally were worse in most sports we always clung to a higher academic reputation over other private schools, which may or may not be true, and chants like these were ones to reflect that over other private schools. I don't ever remember this type of animosity towards public schools. The only close one I can think of was a hockey loss to Troy Athens that was pretty heated but nothing too outrageous and nothing like this. At UofD, I don't ever remember this concept of public v. private ever being a factor just because our rivals are all private schools. Even when we get beaten by Pershing and Renaissance year after year in the state playoffs for basketball (a sport we are/were decent at) we never really were frustrated.

Your analogy to UofM and MSU is completely off; several public schools are superior to private schools academically. International Academy was ranked one of the top ten college prep schools in the country about 5ish years ago. 

I think your analysis of this is slightly off. This is definitely classless and definitely a class conflict (wealthier surburban kids to inner city Detroit), and it not be a stretch to qualify it as racism.


March 13th, 2012 at 2:56 PM ^

The one private school I can recall we did it to was harper woods notre dame, for the exact same reason, a belief of higher academics. 

You are right though that some public schools have better academics.   Many who attend private school though do it to better their academics, so you could see where that attitude would come from. 


March 13th, 2012 at 3:21 PM ^

We did the same thing to some public schools around us. Didn't really have to do with race at all, we usually only used it when the opposing schools would chant something like "brokeback high school" or something along those lines. I do believe U of D does not have better academic standards/prominence than CC and not sure where that belief in U of D came from and why it's so prominent. 


March 13th, 2012 at 5:44 PM ^

Not sure how true it is. I know UofD's standards were better than many of the other catholic schools earlier but nowadays I don't think that there is much difference. I know my senior year Brother Rice had more Merit Scholars than UofD and the other schools, particularly CC has been doing a really good job educating their kids. I think any UofD alumn or student will propagate the idea regardless of whether it is true or not.


March 13th, 2012 at 9:03 PM ^

I know kids who have transferred from CC to U of D and to a man, each one said that U of D is  a more challenging school than CC.  But don't take my word for it - just compare ACT numbers, scholarship monies awarded, or acceptance rates to different colleges - U of D is higher than CC in all three categories.  Besides, the remedial track CC has for lower end students doesn't help either.

Mabel Pines

March 13th, 2012 at 3:23 PM ^

Brings back memories from when I went to Grosse Pointe North and we played Alpena for the Hockey championship and students from GPN chanted; "That's alright, that's OK, you're gonna work for us someday."  Totally awful, everyone got in trouble for it.  I, for the record, was not there.  Also, I believe their school was predominatntely caucasian. Morons will be morons, I think. 


March 13th, 2012 at 4:58 PM ^

I graduated from U of D High in the mid 80s and we always used these types of cheers against CC and Rice, etc.  We were terrible in sports but couldn't be beat in the classroom.  We never used the same cheers agaist the Detroit public schools when we played them.

But just because we used it in this context does not mean that others do also.  I don't know enough about the De La Salle situation to coment.


March 13th, 2012 at 5:22 PM ^

That was something I forgot to add. I was trying to finish it before a class and thought later that my point about the private v. public divide wsa being supported only from my experience at UofD. Someone from CC even brought it up as they do it to and not necessarily to Detroit teams. Also, thinking more about it, it is always easy to hit the racism concern, and maybe it is, but these are kids who are 14-18 and most do not understand the implications of their cheers as reflective of the social inequities of our system. It is always easy to jump into cheers the student section is yelling and not think about it as a high school student. I remember it was always a tic for tac with the other student sections. Additionally, as someone mentioned above, it does reflect somewhat on parenting and the fact that many of these kids probably do not have experience in the social issues facing Detroit.

The biggest critique should be where were the school officials? We always had a teacher, the dean, or the principal at the game (the games and sports that draw crowds) watching the teams and monitoring the section making sure the students do not get out of hand. If it was really that awkward as the article claimed then they should have stepped in and stopped the cheer. Then again maybe it just seems controversial since it was mentioned about a school in Detroit and the previous (fake?) letter that was circulated after CC lost the state title. If private schools do this all the time to public schools then why is it never brought up about the other schools that it occurs to? Maybe it is something that should be considered youngs kids being kids against their competitors. However, it does reflect the social divides between Detroit and surburban areas and the inexperience these kids and others have with dealing with sensitive issues of poverty, poor social infrastructure, and race.


March 13th, 2012 at 3:02 PM ^

Grand Blanc would do the same thing to my high school, which was about 90% white and they were not that much better academically.  It boiled down to their students thinking they were better than us because their families had money, and they couldn't handle losing to a school of "inferior" students.  It's a stereotype that isn't true for a lot of their students, but they just had a lot of kids that felt entitled.


March 13th, 2012 at 1:14 PM ^

As a DLS alum this is 0% surprising. Those chants fit the culture of entitlement and thinly veiled racism that is pervasive in much of the De La Salle student body.


March 13th, 2012 at 1:14 PM ^

When a college like NW has a chant like "that's alright, that's OK, you'll all work for us someday," it's cute and creative.  When a predominantly white private high school does the same thing to a predominantly black high school, they risk crossing the line.  Bringing it closer to home, we use a lot of the same insults against Sparty.  So, the question is, "where does it cross the line?"

Was it elitism or racism?  Good clean fun or hate speech?  I'm going to lean to the side of racism and hate speech here, but a more subtle form where many of the students didn't even realize the social ramifications of what they were doing.  To me, they might not have meant anything by it, but the underlying mentality of King students being "inferior" is more important than what they meant.

To me, the main question here is one of how the WDSL kids perceive the kids at King.  Were they chanting to a generic fanbase of a team that pissed them off by beating their team, or were they chanting to a bunch of "black, inner-city kids?"  

 Hopefully, the staff at WDSL will use this as a "teachable moment," and students will have a better idea of what constitutes appropriate behavior at a public event. 


March 13th, 2012 at 1:27 PM ^

Kids are dumb. Smart kids are dumb. Kids with smart and rational parents are dumb. I bet many of those students didn't SEE what was wrong with what they were saying, because there is some truth; DLS grads have better career prospects, and quality of life expectations across the board. But kids don't always get that being correct and being in the right are very, very different.

This is a hell of an opportunity for DLS to tell these kids, "you know that stuff you were laughing about? You're laughing about these kids' lives. You're laughing about the fact that these kids are gonna have to scratch and claw for the shit you guys were handed. You're laughing about crime and drugs and death. Knock it the hell off. Being better off than someone else doesn't make you superior to them. Be human beings for the love of God."


March 13th, 2012 at 1:28 PM ^

That is a gross generatlization and assumption. I'll admit it, back in HS i too thought it was funny to chant things like "flip our bugers" or "S A T score" to less affluent schools. My friends and I did this because we, ourselves, were ignorant and immature. My parents have 0 ounce of elitist or racist attitude in them.


March 13th, 2012 at 1:40 PM ^

The comparison to the NW chants and our banter with Sparty is off base. Racial and socioeconomic inequalities are much more pronounced across the high schools than they are at the level of big, national universities. If you are fortunate enough to be able to attend a Big Ten university (even MSU), you have achieved a status in society that many regard as privileged. At that level, the taunting amounts to nothing more than the privileged ribbing the privileged. But at the local level, the notion of "the other side of the tracks" is very real. And high school kids are too young to bear any responsibility for whichever side of the tracks they hail from. Given that, DLS' taunts are demeaning and mean-spirited in a way that similar chants at the university level might not be.