NORTH SMITHFIELD – Four North Smithfield High School student fans have reportedly been suspended from sports for the remainder of the winter season, and police are investigating threats against the school, following a Northmen varsity boys basketball game this week.
The incident that led to disciplinary action for the students took place during a home game against Davies Career & Technical High School on Tuesday, Jan. 24. The Northmen entered the matchup undefeated in league play – and would ultimately maintain their perfect season with a 72-56 win over the visiting team.
It was what took place in the stands – not on the court – that led to online threats from the opponent’s fans, now under investigation by the North Smithfield Police Department.
“Our team was exemplary,” said North Smithfield Supt. Michael St. Jean following inquiries about the incident. “Several of our fans were not. This is an unfortunate diminishing of the high standards of sportsmanship that we expect.”
“Several (North Smithfield) fans exhibited poor behavior and sportsmanship toward the opposing team, which continued after the game,” St. Jean said.
That behavior led to posts on social media site TikTok and others from the opposing team’s fans, where at least two individuals were shown making threats against North Smithfield High School in discussions shared with NRI NOW.
On an account dubbed “Barstool NS,” one user, acting under the name, “johnhilaire,” writes, “if that school happens to blow up don’t start crying now.”
TikTok user “isexsxn,” also comments, “in the next week ur school gettin shot up wrd 2 my motha.”
St. Jean said police were notified of the threats and that, “administration from both schools worked in collaboration to identify and take action with all individuals involved.”
The North Smithfield fans in question have been suspended from sports for the remainder of the winter season.
The superintendent is now reminding the community about the Rhode Island Interscholastic League’s rules and regulations regarding conduct during games, which can be found here.
“This remains an active investigation,” he said.
Editor’s note: An original version of this article erroneously stated that the students involved played for the North Smithfield hockey team. We misunderstood what was stated and are very sorry for the error – especially to any students we may have implicated with the mistake. The statement has been corrected.