Superintendent Torie Gibson felt she had no choice but to make the unpopular decision. When he learned that the Amador High football team was having a group chat titled “Kill Blacks,” full of derogatory language and racial slurs, he ended the California school’s varsity season in North.

This meant that the 100th-anniversary match between rivals Amador and Argonaut was called off.

“We canceled football season and we did it for the right reasons because the behavior is not acceptable,” said Gibson, who oversees the Amador County Unified School District. “However, soccer is an extracurricular activity. It is not a fact. It is not a right. It’s strictly a bonus.

Discipline was quick and abrupt. Moments before Amador played at Rosemont, a predominantly black and Latino school near Sacramento, the game was called off.

There were more consequences. The football coach, sporting director, and director of Amador have been put on leave.

In Gibson’s mind, discipline was the easy part. The hard part will be setting the stage for real change and the key will be the presentation. The school is based in a predominantly white rural area an hour’s drive east of Sacramento. Amador has only four black students out of about 750.