Citing frustration that the district has been slow to react to a series of attacks levied by current students against classmates, football star Brent Johnson asked administrators to remove his name and likeness from the Bexley Athletics Hall of Fame.

Brent Johnson grew up in Bexley, first moving to Sheridan Avenue with his family when he was a toddler and then relocating to Cassingham Avenue a few years later. At Bexley High School, Johnson starred at running back for the football team, setting a school record for yardage from scrimmage and going on to play linebacker for Ohio State University following his high school graduation in 1988.

After college, Johnson returned to Bexley to raise his family, settling in a home on South Roosevelt Avenue in the hopes that he and his then-wife could provide their children with an experience equal to the one he had as a kid coming up in the East Side suburban city.

“One reason I moved back is because I did have a very good experience growing up there,” said Johnson, who has since divorced and no longer lives in Bexley. “I had a lot of friends, and, growing up around white people, most of my friends were white. ... I had a couple of incidents — nothing major — where someone decided to call me outside of my name. And how I was brought up and raised, if someone called you outside of your name, you had every right to teach them a lesson. So I had very few fights, but in general I heard more racist comments from the people and teams that we played than I did from the people in Bexley.”

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