2009-07-23 Holland Sentinel "Alliance condemns graffiti on field"

Alliance condemns graffiti on field

The Holland Sentinel

Saugatuck, MI —

The Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance Wednesday condemned spray-paint vandalism at Saugatuck High School football stadium.

The vandalism had contained slurs referring to homosexuals.

“I hope that in addition to people being upset about the football stadium being defaced, they would also be upset about a slur being used,” said Gail Harrison, executive director of the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance. “Particularly in a community like Saugatuck, which has a larger population of people who have come from the gay and lesbian community ... it particularly smacks in the face of community culture.”

Harrison said it wasn’t an innocent or harmless act.

“There was a reason that word was used, to malign and deface a group of people,” she said. “I think we need to take this opportunity to educate people.”

Previous article regarding the graffiti:

Saugatuck football field vandalized

Homophobic messages spray painted on turf
The Holland Sentinel
Posted Jul 21, 2009 @ 10:43 PM
Last update Jul 22, 2009 @ 05:47 PM

Saugatuck, MI — Saugatuck football coaches and players got a rude awakening as they arrived at the stadium for drills Tuesday morning and found their year-old field vandalized with graffiti.

“I can’t put into words how upset I am,” Saugatuck Athletic Director Bill Dunn said. “But it’s upsetting, and it’s unfortunate that people have to go to this level to vandalize a field — a beautiful multi-million dollar facility.”

Black spray paint covered areas in the end zone, the field’s center logo and other spots around the 50-yard line, leaving unknown costs of damages to the field, Saugatuck Patrol Officer Mark Giles said.

The graffiti included homophobic messages and spelled out a number of teams’ names from the Southwestern Athletic Conference, Superintendent Rolfe Timmerman said.

Maintenance crews began cleanup efforts on the artificial turf around noon and planned to try scrubbing with paint thinner or a mixture of bleach and water, he said.

“Hopefully we’re going to be able to rectify it on our own,” Timmerman said, adding that he hoped it would be clean by week’s end.

Police estimate the vandalism was done Monday night. As of Tuesday evening they had no leads on a potential offender or offenders, Giles said. People with information can contact the Saugatuck/Douglas Police Department at (269) 857-4339.