In late December 2022, Collin County woke up to yet another hate speech attack and last week the targeted family pulled their children from Allen High School after they decided to move from the town. 

According to The Dallas Morning News, former NFL player Mike Hawkins Sr. who’s lived in Allen since 2011, was awoken around 2:15 a.m. on Dec. 28 by the sound of his dogs barking outside. He let them inside the house and later that morning when he let them back out he found his garage door had been vandalized with a racist slur. “WE DON’T NEED YOU HERE IN ALLEN [Slur]” was spraypainted across the side of the house.

Hawkins Sr. is the father of Mike Hawkins Jr., a four-star recruit and the No. 1 quarterback in Dallas. Hawkins Jr. is Allen’s highest-rated quarterback recruit since Kyler Murray. The family believes that the high schooler was targeted after they listed their house for sale, intending to move to a different home in the area. This led to speculation that Mike Jr. was transferring from Allen High School.

“I would have never thought that this would happen to Mike, or my family, here,” Hawkins Sr. told The Dallas Morning News. “I’ve heard of things happening in Allen, but we were never a part of it.” 

The former NFL player said he had never personally experienced racist attacks in his time living in Allen, but he said his son was on the receiving end of racist messages on social media when he was the team’s starting quarterback. 

During 2022, incidents of racism against Black people in high school football across the country called for disciplinary measures and administrators rolled out programs aimed at leaving a long-lasting impact. While there was no incident reported in North Texas, these kinds of attacks are becoming a recurring problem in Collin County. 

Only last month, the Plano police department was investigating a possible hate crime in a Plano neighborhood. Racial slurs and Biblical references were spray-painted on several vehicles and homes in a subdivision near Independence Parkway and Parker Road. According to The Dallas Morning News, Plano police identified a 19-year-old suspect, an out-of-state resident that was visiting family during the holidays.

During the 2022 summer, the Stonebridge United Methodist Church in McKinney was vandalized with graffiti showing swastikas and other hate speech. McKinney police stated at the time that this was the second time in a year the church had been targeted. 

Only a couple of days earlier, a video of a woman verbally attacking South Asian American women leaving Sixty Vines in Plano became viral on social media, prompting the Collin County community to come together in solidarity with its Asian American residents. In Frisco, members of the police department attended a meeting to address the issue and share some guidance on how to respond when encountering racially motivated verbal abuse and encouraged residents to report all incidents to the police.

After their home was vandalized, Hawkins Sr. said that keeping the family’s safety in mind, they decided to move away from Allen. “The first thing that comes to your mind is getting your kids to safety,” said Hawkins. “You’re not thinking about football, you’re not thinking about college decisions. We didn’t work this hard to get to this point, where you’ve got to be fearful walking out your door. Just imagine having kids, and every time they leave the house, it just amplifies your anxiety.”

Allen ISD replied to Local Profile’s request for comment saying that while this event did not happen at school property, the district is in contact with Allen police assisting in any way they can. “We are saddened to learn that a family’s home was vandalized with hate speech. Any instance of hate speech, no matter where or how it occurs, goes against the core beliefs of our school district, and it has no place in our community.”