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Mansfield fans did not yell racial slur during high school basketball game, investigation reveals

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MANSFIELD - After reports that a video of a high school basketball game at Mansfield High School contained a racial slur, the school district said an investigation found no evidence that a fan's words included a racial slur.

The video of the varsity basketball game against Sharon, which made the round of social media in February, reportedly showed a fan uttering a racial slur while a Sharon player attempted to make a free-throw shot. The Mansfield School District hired Attorney Jeffrey Sankey to investigate the matter. The investigation included interviews of students and faculty and an analysis of audio and video of games. The report said no racial slur was uttered. The report said investigators believed fans were chanting, "Look at me," a phrase commonly used to distract a player making a free-throw shot.

"Based on all this information, as corroborated by the scientific analysis of a forensic audio expert, I conclude that there is no credible evidence that the words heard at the basketball game were a racial slur," Sankey said.

There is no word on how much the school district spent on the investigation.

"The Nest, our student section, is always supportive of our student-athletes and they create a fun, positive, enthusiastic environment so that all of us who are fans can enjoy the games," Mansfield Superintendent Teresa Murphy said. "This has been a difficult moment for our school community and particularly for our students who are vocal during the games, so I am pleased that the outside investigator reached a clear and definitive conclusion. I look forward to the excitement of the student-athletes on the court and hearing the loud cheers from the Nest as we begin the playoff season." 

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