Reporting Gigi Barnett
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A celebratory dance lands one high school soccer team in hot water and costs them the chance to play in the championship game.
Gigi Barnett explains parents are outraged.
It’s called “The Bernie”– an on-the-field victory dance after a game-changing sack, score or point.
So when the Perry Hall boys soccer team did it this week after kicking a winning goal against Dulaney High School, parents from the opposing team complained, calling the dance lewd, inappropriate and unsportsmanlike behavior.
Perry Hall’s principal George Roberts quickly suspended the varsity team, shutting down the season and blocking all chances for a trip to the championship.
“Two more games and they’re state finalists, two more games,” Roberts said.
Now Perry Hall parents and students are outraged. Students say they’ve done the dance before.
“We done it against Sherwood and it has not been a problem until now against Dulaney,” said Christopher Winter, a Perry Hall soccer player.
Roberts says “The Bernie” may be allowed on the NFL field, but it’s the wrong gesture for high schoolers.
“Engaging in those celebratory dances that they see Ravens players doing, professional soccer players doing, that’s just not something that we consider,” he said.
But Perry Hall parents hope an e-mail from Dulaney High’s coach could have changed the principal’s mind.
In it, the coach says that some of his parents may have wanted retaliation because they lost, that he saw the dance on YouTube after the game and found that “The Bernie” may have been misconstrued.
“They made a mistake and thank you Dulaney coach for sending the e-mail and stepping up and admitting that you’re wrong,” Vinnie Magliano, a Perry Hall student’s parent, said. “The man said it the right way.”
But Perry Hall’s principal isn’t budging. He said he considered other punishment options like community service and Saturday school. None of those will do and he stands by the suspension. What’s more, the school headquarters does too.
The regional semi-final game is Friday afternoon.