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After threats, killings, no fans at rivalry football game

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CHICAGO — A football game between two rival Chicago schools will be played without spectators Saturday, capping a tumultuous week of threats and the fatal shootings of two students.

Simeon Career Academy and Phillips Academy will play with empty seats at Gately Stadium in the Pullman neighborhood.

“This decision was made for the safety and well-being of our fans and the neighboring community and is non-COVID-19 related,” the school district said Friday.

Two Simeon students, Jamari Williams and Kentrell McNeal, were killed during separate incidents Tuesday away from school.

Separately, an 18-year-old from the suburbs was charged with making threats against several Chicago schools, including Simeon. Police said the threats weren't credible.

The Simeon-Phillips game is one of the biggest of the season for the teams.

“Unfortunately, I hate for fans not to be able to be there, but, yes, I do agree with them,” Phillips coach Joe Winslow said of the decision to keep fans away. “Because there’s just so much madness going on.”

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