Servite High School: Football In Blackface?

Last night I was scrolling through the channels and landed on Prime Ticket. There was a high school football game on TV that caught my eye.

A Servite High School Football Player was wearing blackface.

I don’t have it saved on DVR, but last night Prime Ticket aired the game. On the field were a gaggle of coaches, and not one of them stopped the child who they were charged with educating to tell him that it was wildly offensive.

Here’s a screenshot of what the player looked like after the game. See the video here.

Servite isn’t in my community, but those boys will be. Send them a message, educating young men is a honor that comes with massive responsibility and allowing a child to wear blackface is a failure.

Facebook Comments

  • Anthony from CharismaticKid

    Why does wearing black face paint have to mean that you are trying to mock a black person? I think it is more racist for this idea to enter your mind than for him to put on some face paint. Could it be that he is trying to look “mean” similar to the darkness of the grim reaper? Not a post I expected coming from you.

    • karoli

      Anthony, I’m going to assume you really don’t know why blackface is offensive. Blackface was traditionally used to mock African-Americans on stage. It dates back to vaudeville days when blacks would not be allowed to mingle with whites, and white performers would put blackface on and mock blacks. The meaning hasn’t changed much, even today. It is a symbol of ridicule and exclusion.

      This might be a helpful series for you to understand further.

  • Greg Freeman

    Are you kidding? Get a clue! Did you do any research before you posted this? Many football players have taken the tradition of wearing eye-black from baseball and expanded it to wearing it as full or semi-full face paint. It tends to get smeared over the course of a game to do sweating thus making it look like it covers the entire face. It is not done in the racist way you are depicting, AT. ALL. For example:

    Guess what? Even fans do it:

    Seriously, in the future do a little checking around before you go and write inflammatory and malicious things on the Internet.

  • Jack

    The kid looks like he could be a Raider fan. Ever see what the fans in the Black Hole look like?

    I could be wrong about all this, but it isn’t unusual for players to paint their faces.

    • Jessica Gottlieb

      He’s a child in High School, it’s an academic failure to have a child in blackface on a football field.

      • Ryan

        How is it?

      • Jack

        It looks like he is one of several on the field who have painted their faces. It is not at all uncommon for fans and players to paint their faces.

        I have an ongoing discussion with people about the meaning of symbols and why we can’t just ignore them or their significance. We talk about names and their impact. Should the Washington Redskins change their name?

        My high school mascot was the Braves. It was decided that was offensive and was later changed to the Patriots.

        There are a lot of different directions to go here. I am not convinced that this has any relevance to race. It might, but I’d like to get more information before I make that sort of statement.

        Especially since I know how common it is for players of all skin colors to do this.

      • mike

        You are an academic failure Jessica

      • 5kings

        If you knew this boy you would know he is NOT at all racist!! He is a loving boy. He wore the face paint to be more intimidating. He is a great leader on the field and off. You should know who you are talking about before you say anything. Shame on you for even thinking this way. Maybe you should take a look deeper into your heart on why that would even come into your mind. What matters in the end is that God knows he is not racist.

        CREDO MOM

        • Jessica Gottlieb

          To be fair, I never called the child a racist. The school has a terrible record with race and athletics, but I don’t think children are typically racist.

          I’m sad for him that there appear to be no adults who are capable of teaching him how to act appropriately.

  • Danon

    Whats wrong with face paint in football? I did not know it was offensive, I thought it was to A) keep the bright lights dim, and B) to look scary.

  • Greg Freeman

    He’s not in fact in blackface. It’s face paint that many college & pros wear as well. It gets smeared during the game. It doesn’t even cover his whole face as his chin has no paint. Did you research this topic at all before writing?

    What you have now done is post a picture of a minor where that CHILD is now easily identifiable and accused him of being a racist without getting any other information other than your misguided opinion. Your actions are careless, libelous, and malicious.

  • John Darrow

    I couldn’t find anything about any discipline this time, but here was info about a January basketball incident:

    “As it does at a few home varsity basketball games, at last Friday’s Mater Dei-Servite game the Servite Pit Crew, an assemblage of student rowdy rooters, held another contest to see who could be the most ignorant students. The winners this time were those who the school acknowledges made comments and sounds that were obviously racist. Mater Dei has two starting players who are African-American.

    The experience here has been that Servite administration takes quick and correct action upon its students, school personnel and supporters when Servite’s high standards are not upheld, and did so in this matter. Mater Dei does the same when anyone associated with Mater Dei is out of line.

    As Servite president Peter Bowen, a Servite alumnus, said via e-mail, “The students were immediately removed from the game by administrators and disciplined. Servite is working to meet with and apologize to Mater Dei. On Tuesday, the entire school met for 1 ½ hours to discuss the incident, reassert true Servite Christian values and ensure this mistake is never repeated.””


  • Danny

    There’s a distinct difference between “blackface” and “black face.” Knowing nothing about this other than what’s in the pictures, it’s clear that the kid’s school color involves black in some way. As previously mentioned, it’s not uncommon for fans of team-color-black teams to paint their face with that color.
    This is kind of ridiculous.

  • karoli

    no, it’s really not ridiculous. It’s clear from the player in the background who at least has black paint on his face in a non-blackface kind of way that they understand the distinction. What is ridiculous and also disturbing is the level of ignorance displayed by those who see this as ‘no big deal’. Do I want the kid’s head on a platter? No. But allowing it to pass without comment is not acceptable either.

  • thomas

    What I find the most humorous in this entire non-story is the lily-white WASPS who are so outraged. Do you have any true sense of the history of black-face? Do you realize that black-face has more to it’s stigma than just throwing some dark colored paint on your face? It’s about the mannerisms, the speech, the stereotypical props that go with it.

    Seriously, for the people who have commented, as well as the author who came up with this half baked assumption, be a little more careful with your words. What you have done here is ignorant & hurtful many times more than a kid who painted his face in school colors. THAT IS ALL. Nothing devious, nothing hateful.

  • Kia

    Blackface is a performance. Blackface is done with the intention of caricaturing a black person. Was this kid shuckin’ and jivin’ down the football field? Singing negro spirituals and saying “LAWD HA’ MERCY”? If so, you’ve got a valid point.

    But I’d bet every cent in my pathetic bank account that this wasn’t the case. I’m quite sure if the teams colors were blue, that’d be the color all over his face. And I guess you’d be crying foul about the kid being in Blue face and how offensive it is to Smurfs and the aliens from Avatar.

    Ease up people. Jesus.

    Oh, and for the record, I’m black and I find the fact that you paused a local high school football game for a screencap and blog fodder kind of ridiculous.

    • Delbert Shoopman


  • annie

    It is a big deal. The teen might not have known how offensive it was (spent too much time teaching kids that age to assume that the young man isn’t stupid – the level of ignorance at the teen age is shocking at times), but the adults knew and should have corrected him.

    I can be a moral grey-ist myself. I think though that society in general has strayed too far away from concrete right/wrong and into an era of rationalizing and allowing each person to define what is acceptable behavior or not.

  • Katchin05

    Clearly, the original author knows little to NONE about football. That “blackface” is made to keep the glare of sun or stadium lights out of your eyes. He probably did it all over to appear more menacing (note – DO NOT overanalyze that. Have you ever seen Raiders fans?). He’s a kid, and in no way is this offensive or racist. Chill out.

    I am very much a Black woman, and a football fan. I have seen players of all races and ethnicities do this. The more than ample facepaint on the other players shows that it might have been a one-up kind of thing, or just kids being silly.

  • Jeff

    Have you seen Batman Begins? Have you seen the scene where Batman doses the Scarecrow with his own medicine and becomes this horrifying melting black faced (note the space) monster while interrogating him? My guess says he was trying to recreate that look.

    Or he is a huge Insane Clown Posse fan and just got sweaty.

  • Delbert Shoopman

    Jessica, What you’re doing is starting something out of nothing. This is not black face. NOT ONE BIT. Let’s get our facts straight here.

    This is blackface:
    This is blackface:

    This isn’t blackface:
    This isn’t blackface:
    This isn’t blackface:

    What you need to do before you get your soap box out and try to rally your 40readers… is take a close look at all your facts and lay them out.

    FIRST OF ALL. Check the numbers in your picture. #67 has the face paint, #69 has the face paint. AND BEFORE YOU CAREFULLY CROPPED YOUR PICTURE TO MAKE YOUR “POINT”… you can clearly see in the background that the other boys… including several African America teammates ALSO HAVE THE FACE PAINT ON!

    Did it ever occur to you that the face paint is used to SCARE, INTIMIDATE, and EXPRESS. NOT JUST FOR RACISM?

    SO, in the long run… maybe you should research football and find that it isn’t common for players to have face paint on…

    OBTW You should take this post down… what you’re doing is worse then the high school boy painting his face… You’re possible ruining things for him in the future by stating all your false facts.

    Let’s relax, ok?
    Delbert Shoopman Dot Com

    PS. I’m going to the Rose Bowl this weekend with my face painted red… I don’t want want my picture on your website saying I hate Indians.

  • mike

    Jessica, you are a perfect example the problem with society today…you must have everything PC which is divisive on it’s own…your and others like you insistance on labeling things as good or bad only creates further division in our society….I do understand that in the past certain words and symbols had horible meaning but to perpetuate that is in no way benefitial to anyone…to deamonize a word only strenghtens it power that it should never have….lastly by your photo you are white like me whats wrong do you feel guilty about your ancestors? This type of behavior is almost racist in a passive aggresive way….the way to fight racism is to treat all people the same which I try to do and yes fight outright racism but not WORDS or Symbols…can’t we all just get along…this is about a football game not race….

  • Laura

    I agree with the commenters that don’t see the offense here. I would be one of the first to jump on someone genuinely doing something with a racist intent. I just don’t see it here. It may be there, but from the facts you presented (a mere picture), you have no basis to assume the worst about this situation. As some other commenters pointed out, the historical ‘blackface’ is about much more than the mere color painted on skin above the neck. It is about the steriotypical behavior and props that go along with it.

    Come on. There are enough issues in this world to get up in arms about. This is not one of them. I wholeheartedly support the stopping of offensive behavior, but I do not see it here.

    Jessica, I found your blog through momversation and usually enjoy it. This, though, seriously makes me question your way of thinking about whether I want to read someone who sees this football game and makes an issue out of this. Not that this should cause you to change anything about yourself or what you write – I’m just being honest. It annoys the heck out of me.

  • Alethea

    So far, the only person I see who is incredibly offended by this is you. Even black people are commenting saying this is not offensive to them. Aren’t they who we should be asking?

    As racism fades (and it is, slowly but surely), offensive things that previous generations did will have less impact on us because the symbolism is lost. I’m not saying we should forget about history, but I think we need to realize that meanings of things change over time. And that’s okay. I’m actually proud that people don’t automatically see something racist in this picture, but rather a kid with an overabundance of school spirit. It shows how far we’ve come in thirty years.

    Like Laura, I generally enjoy your blog. You are smart, forward-thinking, and not afraid to speak out on controversial issues. I just don’t think this one deserves your attention or ire. If you’re running short on blog post ideas, drop me an email, maybe I can help.

  • ag

    One blog post on this farcical topic wasn’t enough? You’ve crossed the line from overzealous do-gooder to rabid idiot with too much free time, by posting about this twice.

    It’s weird when I did that same Google search you did there was no auto-complete entry with the word racism in it. Very odd, indeed. Maybe because the auto complete is based off of your previous searches. Self fulfilling prophecy much? Try clearing your browsing data and doing the search again.

    This site also illustrates how ridiculous it is to take the Google search autocomplete too seriously.

    • Melanie

      I just did the search for the first time, and auto-complete offered me 2 alternate searches that incorporated the terms “racist” and “racism”

  • Black Canseco

    I had someone forward this to me so I had to stop by and see for myself.

    First off, it never ceases to amaze me how others can tell folks what they can or can’t be offended by. For the record, I’m a black male who’s played high school football. I’ve worn eye-black. I had teammates who’ve painted their faces, but none to this extent.

    I’m offended by this kid’s get up. But again, I’m more offended by people telling me this is no big deal or that it isn’t what it looks like simply because the level of cultural arrogance exhibited by so many constantly rears its head long enough to tell folks, specifically minorities, that we don’t know what we’re talking about.

    Until you’ve had to sit and deal with folks rocking blackface or oversized afro wigs in order to mock you and yours, don’t tell folks who are offended by such get ups that they’re out of line.

    Fact is, for the vast majority of the GOI (Get Over It) crowd—displays of cultural bias don’t impact your family or your community as they’re not aimed at you. It’s easy to tell people not to duck when you don’t know what it is to be a walking target.

    As another commenter stated, “do I want this kid’s head on a stick?” No. Do I want this kid suspended or beat up. No. but I do want someone to pull this kid aside and remind him that blackface is not a GOI issue. And that cultural appropriation isn’t something to play with…
    And if someone is offended by this, he shouldn’t so arrogant as to ignore them and marginalize their concerns as PC run amok, but rather he should give it some consideration.

    I don’t know what’s in this kid’s heart or his intent beyond what it looks like. But if he’s anything like the commenters on this and other sites who seem bent on telling everyone else to shut up and go away when issues of cultural bias arise, then this kid’s got a lot of problems.

  • John Madison

    Jessica, this blog posting does not appear to reflect well on you.

    You have been shown very clearly that there is a difference between painting one’s face with the school color and racist blackface. Your own followers have educated you to understand that blackface involves much more (i.e. mannerisms, acting, mockery, etc.) than simply making your face black. I hope you actually read those comments.

    There is no suggestion whatsoever that this football player was trying to be racist.

    Nevertheless, you slam the school and coaches with the label “racist” for not pulling this player aside to “educate” him to these sensitivities. That is an extremely harsh label to apply.

    I read your recent blog posting about Disneyland and noticed that you used the racist phrase “call a spade a spade”. You chastise Disneyland because they dared schedule a visit for mommy bloggers during Passover, but you have no problem repeatedly using the term “X Mas” which many Christians find very offensive because it takes Christ out of Christmas.

    By your own published terms, are we to conclude that you are a racist and an anti-Christian bigot? Should someone start a blog and kick up a firestorm over your use of these offensive terms, perhaps ensuring MSNBC and the Dr. Phil Show hear about it? Should they label you racist and bigot so that “Jessica Gottlieb racist” appears in Google searches?

    You could point out that you are not a racist because the phrase “call a spade a spade” comes from a medieval Dutch usage that predates America’s racial problems. You could point out that you are not an anti-Christian bigot because “X Mas” has some possible references to abbreviations that Christians have used. You could claim that uses of those terms don’t really reflect any racism or bigotry on your part. I hope that you were simply unaware that many find these terms offensive. Nevertheless, you would be guilty of exactly the same thing of which you accuse this football player.

    Your friends and followers seem to have failed to educate you on the offensiveness of those terms. Does that mean they are really, deep down and subconsciously, racists and bigots too? Apparently your friends and followers are guilty of the same thing of which you accuse the coaches. Your family, friends and followers failed you just as you say the coaches and school failed the player.

    1) Is anyone (the student, coaches, you and your followers) in this really racist or bigoted? Probably not.

    2) Should people let each other know in a positive way when someone does something that could be easily misinterpreted? That would be a good idea.

    3) Should people get self-righteous, zealously offended and publicly label others with very volatile terms like “racist” and “anti-Christian bigot” when Option #2 is readily available? Probably not.

    Respectfully, I suggest that you put down the stone. Your glass house has some broken panes in it as well.

  • Todd Gwynn

    You are a dumbass. Blackface is awesome. Black people love to complain, and you are just encouraging it.

  • Tony McCanta

    Servite’s entire coaching staff has an excellent reputation of using football to educate young men, and more than half of Servite’s coaching staff are of African-American heritage. I would suggest that Ms. Gottlieb address this “academic failure” directly with the staff. I’m sure they would appretiate her input/judgement.

  • fightin’ mad mary

    I’m still catching up on my blog reading, sorry to not commenting on this earlier.

    While I know this game was broadcast on television, I don’t think it was a good idea to call this student out on your blog with a photo and basically call him a racist. He’s a child – a rather large child, but nonetheless – he’s still just a child. Why risk damaging his reputation for some undereye paint that got a little out of control.

  • Pingback: Eye Black, Football and High School()

  • M C


    Shame on you, you had a boring day and decided to take it out on a very wonderful school, its students, administrators and coaches. You owe them an apology, all of them. Why didn’t you do some research and visit the school before you posted your menancing and damaging remarks. What you would have found was the exact opposite. You would have learned about the brotherhood and love the students have for eachother. The love it has for football and their competitors. How they shaved their head for a fellow football player who had cancer and all they did to encourge him to get better. Oh, did I forget to mention , he was from an opposing school. Also, you should have learned more about Highschool Football, Football players and their Fans. You would have learned that it is about teamwork, fair and fierce competition. You would learn all about Servite’s young men who represent Catholic Christian values, both on and off the field. And these men will be in your Community and your Community will be better for it. As for the young man you decided to use as “your punching bag” he is my grandson. He is thoughful, and all around great kid. Just ask anyone. I asked him why he was painting his face black, he said he got the idea from a NFL Football player. He also wanted to intimidate the opposing team. I am not racist, I know about racism, I have lived long enough to have experience it more often than I care to count. I don’t carry it on my shoulder, I look for the good in people and do my research before I “blog” my comments. Rest assure that I am researching you, and when I am ready with my results I will let you know directly, I will not post them because I think your blogger friends already know the real you.

    • Jessica Gottlieb

      If you are his grandmother why didn’t you stop him from walking on the field that way? Why did every adult let a child take the field with his face painted black? It seems to me like the school and all the associated adults missed an opportunity for your grandson to really learn something and that is very sad.

      • Stephen

        To be “fair” Jessica, you’ve edited this post after initial tagging it “racist”. I think it’s now fair to say that you were looking to gain some publicity against a school in which you have an axe to grind with. You have a powerful voice on the Internet. Please use it in the right way & not to self-promote your own hidden agenda which is to be a part of the new media establishment.

        Shame on you for using a child for your own self serving purposes. You could have simply contacted the school and spoke with someone involved with the team and gotten your point across just as well. Instead, you decided to shine a light on yourself rather than a worthy cause. You’re better than that.

  • Tony McCanta

    Ms. Gottlieb, like I mentioned above, if any of the coaching staff, faculty, fellow players, opposing players, fans, families, local media, administrative bodies (ie, CIF, the Trinity League) had interpretted this as an insulting or insensitive gesture, then this young man would not have been allowed to do this. The only person who interpretted this to even be “blackface” was you.
    So, either all of these people associated with this young man are wrong, or you are wrong.

    Quite simply, you are wrong. You have no idea what you are talking about. Please don’t do this to this young man, and please be more responsible in what you post. There is really no excuse for this, and that is the what is truly “sad.”

    Ms. Gottlieb, you owe this young man, his grandmother, his whole family, and the Servite family an apology. I trust that you will have the integrity and humility to do so.

  • OC Mom

    Kids paint their faces in school colors. This kid’s school color is black. End of story.

  • me

    I am on the team. I put on the eyeblack. It was not for the purpose of mocking black people, it wasn’t totally for intimidation, it was for the Boston College player who has cancer who used to paint his face in such a way as well. By saying Servite doesn’t teach about this blackface deal means that Boston College does not either. You just need to stop trying to find problems where there aren’t any. I was at the Mater Dei basketball game too. It was people who were supposed to be in leadership positions, who were immediately removed, acting stupidly and other people followed in not fully understanding what was happening. We also have many black coaches, none of them found anything offensive about this either. We wore the eyeblack from the first game to the last, we received no other such words of adversity to out eyeblack.

    I’m not racist.
    We’re not racist.
    Please stop looking for trouble.
    This should really just be taken down.

    • Jessica Gottlieb

      I don’t know that you’re racist, but I do know that as a parent I’d expect at least one adult at the school to have stopped you.

      If you’re talking about Herzlich, I am aware that he often wore excessive eye black, but I don’t believe he ever painted his entire face.

      Let’s be frank. If ONE kid from Servite makes the NFL every 4 years that’s a HUGE accomplishment. You’re playing football to learn sporstmanship and to supplement an education. The mission of most schools is to turn out good citizens.

      I think the school failed you when they didn’t ask you to wash your face. Further, it’s my understanding that excessive eye black isn’t allowed by CIF. But that really isn’t the issue.

      • me

        You still are sticking to this, really?
        All the parents and students at Servite are ignorant?
        Really, stopped us from what. Wearing eye black. EYE BLACK!
        This is insane that to think this is still offensive. Now if we were back in the day when there were really blackface performances, than it would be much different.
        It is eye black, it smeared. Please forgive us Jessica, please.

  • serviticus

    I was searching Google’s archive of Servite High School Football images when I ran across this blog by Jessica Gottlieb. As I took in Jessica’s statement about the “blackface” on the Servite player’s face being “wildly offensive” I literally did a double take. Was this woman serious? How could she leap to such a conclusion and so assuredly make the claim that the black paint on that student’s face should be viewed within the context of racial insensitivity?
    After reading all the other comments, the majority of which expressed amazement that Ms. Gottlieb was taking things way too seriously, it became very evident that no one was going to change her mind about her perceptions. I won’t attempt to change her mind…I doubt I could uncross my eyes after the frustration of trying to do so.

    Bear with me as I explain where the Servite black paint idea came from in the first place, though there is tradition enough in the sport of football for the affectation, as commentators have pointed out. I have followed Servite Football for over ten years. Two sons attended and graduated from the school, and both played football. In all those years the extent of blacking, if done at all, was limited to just below the eyes. However, in the last several years, a number of Samoan and Tongan families have enrolled sons at the school. Many of these boys are on the football team. Last summer, as I understand, one of these boys was challenged to learn more about his culture and bring something of it to summer practice. While there may be some cultural crossover, he came back with the warrior “dance” called the Haka. This ritual dance involves posturing in exaggerated poses and contorting the face into a menacing and glaring appearance. Fanciful and intricate patterns of tattoos adorn the body and face of the Haka warriors……….

    I think you might get the idea now. That particular young man was just one of the players who put blacking on his face. Most of them, if not all, were O-Line players. The paint was a way of showing unity, of making a statement of strength; it was an attempt to intimidate opposing players….it marked the boys as “warriors” and it boosted their sense of brotherhood…
    This was the first season where blacking appeared on the faces of any Servite players, and I claim its origin is in the Haka tradition…and the almost universal use of facepaint in the Sport of Football…fans and players.

    Two years ago, an employee/student at Indiana University-Purdue, was reading a book titled “Notre Dame v The Klan”. A sensitive co-worker sitting across the table criticized the reader of the book, stating she found the Klan offensive. Some days later the reader was called into the Affirmative Action office and told a student had registered a “racial harassment” claim aginst him and he would be facing disciplinary action if found “guilty”.
    The University ended up apologizing in writing to the worker, saying he had every right to read a book that was in the University Library and that the whole matter could have been handled in a “better way”. The worker expressed his frustration with the whole affair, stating that “I am not the kind of person they are saying I am”.

    Does anyone see similarities here?

    • serviticus

      I took some time today to look into this “blackface” allegation by Ms. Gottlieb. Go to and search Servite High School. Once you are linked up, go to Pro Photos and Videos to view the many galleries and videos of Servite players and games. Make your own judgement whether there is a racial element to the black greasepaint on the faces of the players.

      Incidentally, the picture of the gathered team that featured the “Blackface” player was taken as the team sang the Salve Regina….a Catholic hymn to Mary, Mother of Jesus.

      I have no idea who Jessica Gottlieb is. Apparently she writes a popular Blog and has some kind of following. What I have observed about bloggers “with a following” is the sense of self-importance they develop….like they are really important people and their opinions are sacrosanct. This makes it difficult for them to admit a mistake.

      • Jessica Gottlieb

        I’ve done you the great courtesy of allowing you a comment here. “I have no idea who Jessica Gottlieb is….” well, I’m the site owner. This isn’t a democracy nor is it a free press, I don’t care what prayer a child said.

        I clicked through channels and was taken aback, I saw a child with his entire face painted black on national TV. That’s it.

        I understand that the child involved didn’t mean it to be offensive, but that’s where the school should have stepped in and taken a moment to explain to him that painting your entire face black is inappropriate.

        It doesn’t mean he’s a bad kid. It just means that the school failed.

        Pictures post game don’t show the paint, it’s smeared. I’m not going to argue the point, the face was painted, and everyone who thinks it’s totally appropriate is utterly ridiculous.

        • anybody

          The school did not fail
          For you to be be offended is wrong.
          There were many Black coaches and students that were not offended.
          You cannot dwell on things that have occured in the past. That is what brings racism back to the present.
          He did not have the intent of being racist and by saying that this is racist in turn shows that you yourself, are ignorant to and close-minded

  • Aaron

    In a time and culture where seeing things invoking the thought ‘blackface’ is not the norm, a woman flipping through TV channels saw a football player whose appearance reminded her so much of blackface she had to double take.

    The fact that this occurred says something about the failure of the school. Jessica has not attempted to blame nor label the student in any way. I’m sure we can all agree, it is (most likely) safe to assume that the student did not paint his face with the intention of mimicking the look of blackface. However the fact that not one adult spoke up and said, “you know, that face painting you do looks an awefull lot like blackface. Could we do something else?” is obvious. This school is in the national eye (at least in sports). They did nothing to help avoid something that could be construed as racist from being captured on TV. The School is at fault.

    If a student came in waring a white head band with a black swastika on it and no adult said anything, the point would be obvious. Just because “it’s sports” and “lots of people paint their face” does not take away from the fact that adults have a responsibility to speak up when kids do things that can be misconstrued as a hurtful act.

    It’s part of teaching them respect for all humanity.

  • Tony McCanta

    First of all, “blackface” was most commonly carried out with dark brown paint or shoe polish, not black. All photographic and videographic evidence of it only appears black, because color photography and videography did not exist then.

    Indeed, “blackface” performance remains horribly degrading and insulting to people of African-American heritage, another sad chapter of American history. Interestingly however, perhaps the most famous “blackface” performer, a man of Jewish heritage named Al Jolson, was involved with early movements for African-American rights.

    I agree with Aaron and Ms. Gottlieb that the teachers, coaches, families, and respresentitives of Servite High School and all high schools have the responsibility to educate their students regarding the atrocious history of racism in our country, and to prevent it from occuring again.

    However, representitives from African-American organizations or the African-American community of southern California didn’t construe Servite’s face painting as racist. Nor do these school’s competitors (of varied cultural traditions, including the African-American tradition) ; nor to the regulatory bodies responsible for high school athletics (CIF, Trinity League) ; nor do the coaches of the young men (of varied cultural traditions, including the African-American tradition); nor do the families of the young men (of varied cultural traditions, including the African-American tradition); nor have informed members of the free-press (ie: the LA Times, OC Register, Fox Sports West, Maxpreps); nor have democratic officals representing the school including the mayor of Anaheim .

    Educators are accountable to all of these people, and Servite has fulfilled its responsibility to all of these groups.

    Servite, and all educators, are not responsible of the underinformed thoughts of the “site-owner” of a website that is “isn’t a democracy nor is it a free press.”

  • serviticus

    Ms. Gottlieb,
    I know you are the site owner. I just don’t know who you are. Nothing personal intended in any of my commentary. Your opinion is simply that…an opinion. I was stunned that your first thought upon seeing a highschool football player with a blackened face was that racial insensitivity was on exhibit, and that hundreds and actually thousands of adults who attend Servite football games…starting with members of the Servite religious order, coaches, administrators, teachers, parents, relatives and members of the well as opposing teams and their like supporters, including Long Beach Polytechnic High School, a predominantly African-American school….should have known better than to let the boy smear so much blacking on his face, and that, a priori , some “failing” lay at the root of it all.

    First impressions strike the mind the deepest. You saw “blackface” and racial insensitivity and said so on your blog. The genie is out of the bottle now. I don’t know how many readers follow your blog, but Servite high School and at least one boy has been branded as racist. I know you did not use that word…but that is what many will take away from reading your blog…a first impression and an uninformed one.

    Thank you for the courtesy of allowing such a discussion.


  • Mark

    This argument is stupid, period. This is just an attempt for someone to point out the obvious and make something so dimunitive, bigger than it really is.

    Don’t just put Servite in the hole here. Rocklin Players did it as well.

  • Answers

    Ma’am the statements that you have posted make you sound quite ignorant. If it is answers you want then come down to Servite and get an explanation. He will gladly tell you the reasoning behind the whole situation. You will soon see that you have made a huge mistake. You must recall the quote “don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” I encourage you to do everything I have said and if you fail to do so then you are a Coward.
    Here you go.
    1952 West La Palma Avenue
    Anaheim, CA 92801-3544
    (714) 778-4670
    Come and get the answers you seek.

  • Semper Ubi Sub Ubi

    Should a school not allow players to paint themselves in school colors because one uninformed blogger was offended?

  • Semper Ubi Sub Ubi

    Does that make it any less accurate?

  • WoN HuNg LoW

    You are the most ignorant woman on the internet. Congrats on your new title, it fits. I believe in fighting the good fight, not the wrong or lost fight, like you are. What is obvious is that your school failed in producing smart woman in the world. Instead you get to go to your alma mater and tell them that your an unsuccessful internet blogger. Wow impresive. Go out and get a real job, and if you cant find one come on over and ill employ you to make my sandwiches.

  • RIcky

    a cheap dirty one

  • serviticus

    Ms. Gottlieb,
    I see a couple of clowns have found their way on to your Blog. I have no idea who they are, and I certainly don’t approve of the insulting and misogynistic tone of their commentary. I am angry that one or more these people could be Servite students. I take at face value your statement that RIcky or Angry Man used a Servite server. I will notify the appropriate people at Servite to take whatever action they can to find the sources of these messages.



  • a servite student

    I am a current Servite student and I am extremely displeased with these previous comments about you Ms. Gottlieb, and on behalf of them I apologize. However I do not agree with this article, I don’t agree with the comments left. Again ma’am I apologize.

  • parks

    dear jessica gottlieb,
    shut up.

  • perspective

    ok so i just saw this article. i am also a high school football player (not from servite) but anyways i think your argument is just ridiculous. i too have worn this black face paint with no intention of racism. im also pretty sure at least 98% of kids in high school have no idea what a blackface is. ive also seen several african americans post on this blog stating that they basically dont care. why the hell should you? stop bashing the school and the community with your radical and ignorant views. take this down.

  • what

    servite students do learn what blackface is in american history. when we painted our faces it did not occur to us because we were not doing a play acting as african americans. im sure the servite theatre would not do black face, but this is football not theatre so get it together.

  • Adrian

    Hello I am a student that goes to Servite and we dont see anything wrong with wearing eyeblack all over our face we are lucky to have the colors black and white so we take advantage so we wear our colors to support. Servite isnt racist it was just a scandal that happened to spread

  • Pingback: Road Rage and Anonymous Comments — Jessica Gottlieb()

  • Servite Student

    wow are u freaking serious? this in no way was meant to be racist at all…..if u were part of the servite community and actually knew the facts you would know that this was done for the sole purpose of intimidation alone and nothing else….ive never even heard the term blackface and im pretty sure no one else my age has…..and plus half the starting team is black and im sure they would notify there fellow team mates if anyone was at fault here…even some coaches are black and nothing wrong has been found at all

    know the facts

  • Maegan

    I’m a little late to this party…but without knowing a thing about Servite and too much about teenagers today…I doubt the derogatory blackface you’re thinking of even crossed the minds of the student pictured.

    I know eyeblack is used a lot in a decorative fashion versus functional…and “true” blackface…the kind used in theatrical productions almost a hundred years ago isn’t simply a painting of dark paint onto an actor. It was done with a particular way to “mimic” and exaggerate features of the African American.

    I once saw a kid draw features on his face like a skull…

  • Veritas

    Get your facts straight. Blackface is different from painting your face black. It is a common thing to do among football players. I prefer to just do the standard below the eye black, but some guys like to paint their whole face to make them look bigger and scarier. As a well educated high school student, I have never heard of someone putting on blackface at a football game. If you would take the time to study your facts, you would know that many football players all over the country at all levels paint their face in different designs with eye black. Some like to make their face entirely black to look intimidating. Some like to draw designs. Also for your information, the school colors are black and white. If a player were to put on white eye black, and they happened to be black, would that make them ignorant and racist? I laugh at your automatic assumptions of Servite High School. One isolated incident at a basketball game that was handled with the proper speed and response, is hardly a terrible record. If you personally knew anyone at Servite, Ms. Gottlieb, then you would know that racism is not a problem. Though the school is primarily white, it is not because of race. It is due to the fact that many students attend Servite from the Catholic middle schools around the area, and the majority of those students are white. If I, who am not of Hispanic descent, were to wear a poncho and sombrero, does that qualify me as a racist and ignorant person who is making stereo typical actions? What you unfortunately are failing to grasp is that the blackface involves stereotypical actions as well as the face paint. That one point alone disqualifies your whole entire spiel as the player you cite as well as any others did not participate in such a disgraceful activity. If I as a fan in the stands paint my face black because it is my school color, does that make me an ignorant person who is bigoted towards African-Americans. No, it does not. Without the stereotypical actions to go along, you are making baseless assumptions and you should really be ashamed. Were you at the game? No. Did you see how he acted? No. Was I at the game? Yes. Did I see how he acted? Yes. Was it in a stereotypical and racist manner indicative of a blackface? No. Therefore, your ignorant article is entirely without substance. I hope you realize this before you go around making unsubstantiated accusations at random people and humiliate yourself, infuriate others, and make enemies of others.

  • Offkillerz

    You must be pretty damn stupid or you must not know the sport of football whatsoever to think using eyeblack is a “racial” thing…watch any high school football game, ANY football game and there are quite a few players that use eyeblack some covering most of face, some using designs some just two lines, its used to reduce the glare when playing in the lights…before you start calling one school racist because the coaches or parents didnt stop them, read about the damn information first before you start criticizing on a school for excessively using a product to pretty much not be blinded by the lights.

    So in this case if you dont know about the sport and u were just flipping the channel around and start assuming that wearing eyeblack is automatically “blackface”.

    “It doesn’t mean he’s a bad kid. It just means that the school failed.”
    So what your saying is that every school is a failure? No this just shows how immature you can be to jumping to conclusions on just what people wear specifically eyeblack

    “Pictures post game don’t show the paint, it’s smeared.”

    “He’s a child in High School, it’s an academic failure to have a child in blackface on a football field.”
    A. Child is between age 5-12, Teen is between 13-16/17, Young Adult is 17/18-20+ considering to a Servite teacher, student or any faculty
    C. How is it a academic failure if the Young Adult is making his own decisions? He might know what blackface is. IT IS AN ACADEMIC FAILURE TO JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS AND MAKE ASSUMPTIONS!!!

    “Further, it’s my understanding that excessive eye black isn’t allowed by CIF.”
    You understood wrong they can have as much eyeblack as they want as long it has no gang related or any offensive things written on the face.

    “I’m sad for him that there appear to be no adults who are capable of teaching him how to act appropriately.”
    Im sad for you that you JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS by taking a double take on one player in one game out of ALL THE GAMES that can be listed on public cable or any television what so ever.

    “To be fair, I never called the child a racist. The school has a terrible record with race and athletics, but I don’t think children are typically racist.”
    Yes Servite has had an event or two that has been racial (The Mater Dei Incident with Blacks during basketball and the penny throwing back in the day for basketball) Just because it had two events doesnt mean they had a HORRIBLE record with race…look at all the great things they do every year for all the different communities.

    Herzlich actually did paint his whole face for the intimidation of his opponents or enemies.

    You say that Servite has a reputation

    So what this sums up overall about your skills as an article or “blog” writer is that
    A*****. You jump to conclusions and assume the first thing that comes to you
    B. You dont know the difference between child, teen and young adult
    C***. You have NO CLUE about the sport of football
    D****. You have NO CLUE about the history of EyeBlack
    E*****. You dont know about the history of Servite
    F****. You skim over your research on anything you do
    G**. You look at all the bad things that every person does…just like every inconsiderate jackass who tries to put any school or persons reputation to shame

    So as a result, before you post something as an atrocity and ridiculously immature blog such as this, think, research and talk to the actual players about this BEFORE YOU SPEAK YOUR *CHILDISH* MIND

    Reality and the rest of the mature world