Arkansas high school football announcer calls player ‘thug trash,’ draws outrage from fans

Mid-South

VILONIA, Ark. (KARK) — A high school football game in Arkansas is drawing criticism after a commentator made controversial comments about one of the players. 

The statement was made on a live stream of the Sept. 10 game between the Vilonia Eagles and the Maumelle Hornets, which Vilonia won 34–32. 

A hit from Maumelle High School senior and Arkansas commit Nico Davillier caused chaos in the press box when Corey Eary, Vilonia’s EagleVision volunteer commentator, said the move was a late hit and called the teenager a “thug trash player.”

Davillier was called off the field for a penalty, but the comment outraged fans and parents from both schools. 

Danielle Simmons, a Maumelle parent, said there’s no excuse for insulting a student and that the unkind language could have lasting consequences for young players. 

“It’s tasteless for children to witness that,” Simmons said. “I can’t even stress that enough; they’re children. What you say to them is what they become.” 

Vilonia High School released a statement after the comment went viral, saying that while EagleVision and Eary weren’t sponsored by the school, “These comments do not align with the core values of Vilonia High School.”

Kirk Horton, Maumelle High School’s head football coach, said it was “unfortunate” that a grown man would comment like that about a student and added that Davillier was a good kid and an excellent player during a phone interview with NewsNation affiliate KARK. He also said that he hasn’t heard from Eary regarding an apology, although Eary says he has tried to reach out to Davillier and his family. 

Eary said in a written statement that he got caught up in the game.

The full statement reads: “I am a volunteer commentator and one of the co-founders of our EagleVision broadcast team. We operate independently of the school to bring sports contests to our fans. During the live stream broadcast of our game Friday night with Maumelle, I made some unnecessary and inappropriate comments towards one of the Maumelle players. I will make no excuses about what I said nor will I try to defend my comments. It was wrong. I got caught up in the moment of a highly contested game and made statements on certain plays that I should have let the referees handle on the field. I have made efforts to reach out to the family to offer an apology; however, I have received no response to my attempts so far. I want to extend a sincere apology to Nico Davillier and his family. I’m sure that he is a great young man and my comments were never about him as an individual. I wish nothing but the best in the remainder of his season with the Maumelle Hornets and his future as an Arkansas Razorback. Thank you. Corey Eary.”

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Even with an apology, parents like Simmons say they want something to be done so that comments like these are never again directed at students. 

“There should definitely be some type of training,” she said. 

Read Vilonia High School’s full statement below: 

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