Three seniors at a northern Philadelphia high school have been arrested after a vicious locker room assault. The football players are accused of sodomizing a freshman teammate with a broom handle because they were jealous he had made the varsity team according to the Associated Press.
The suspects were charged with assault, unlawful restraint, terroristic threats, conspiracy, and other offenses in juvenile court. Because all the suspects are under the age of 18, their names were not released to the press.
Authorities say the hazing incident was part of “No Gay Thursday,” a locker room tradition that allowed players to do things they thought was “gay” on Thursdays. Instead, the actions were deemed “not gay” on Thursdays.
“It just happened to be a perfect storm of this ‘No Gay Thursday’ tradition and them not liking this freshman and taking it out on him in a pretty horrible way,” Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said.
The day of the attack, underclassman were instructed to strip to their underwear and clean the locker room. When the younger student tried to leave after stripping down to his underwear, the seniors prevented him from leaving, held him down and assaulted him with a broom handle.
Other “No Gay Thursday” practices included “blessing each other” by smacking other players on the butt hard enough to leave a five-fingered mark; upperclassman would also sneak up behind underclassman and put their genitals on the players’ heads while making sexually suggestive remarks.
Coaches claim they were unaware of the hazing, saying they normally stayed out of the locker room. Head football coach John Vogan was suspended pending the outcome of an investigation to “determine whether or not code of conduct violations occurred, the awareness and level of supervision provided by the coaching staff, and what further measures can promote inclusive and respectful behavior,” according to school superintendent Richard Gusick. Vogan refused to comment.