Article shared by USA Today about City of Hidalgo upsets residents, mayor

(Source: KGBT Photo)

An article shared on USA Today talking about the University of Michigan’s quarterback, a former Hidalgo pirate has received backlash after portraying the Valley as a cartel war zone.

The article talks about Shea Patterson’s football experience in Hidalgo, where according to the article, Patterson learned to block out semi-automatic gunfire blasting in the distance.

Valley residents had something to say on social media and some Hidalgo residents called the City of Hidalgo mayor.

The article starts off with, “Shea Patterson didn’t have to listen hard to hear the gunfire. Semi-automatics blasting in the distance. Bap. Bap. Bap. Bap. Bap.”

These words were used to describe Patterson's high school career in Hidalgo.

The article written and shared by Shawn Windsor of the Detroit Free Press shared his tweet with: "Shea Patterson didn’t have to listen hard to hear the gunfire.”

Immediately getting reaction on Twitter, one person replied, "Did you watch an episode of Narcos as research for this article? It's terrible and extremely inaccurate."

Another adding, “Ya’ll making it seem like South Texas is more dangerous than what it is. It’s just adding stereotypes. Do Better."

Scott Ford coached Patterson during his freshman year at Hidalgo. He says he did hear gunfire while at Hidalgo but he never felt he nor his players were in danger.

"The semi automatic gunfire really wasn’t a big, big deal. It was just something that we heard every day. We never felt in danger. There was never a situation or anything like that. It was just what it was," stated Ford.

The article goes onto say, ‘Coach sent the players who lived among the cartels home early. It was easier to avoid stray bullets in the light.’

Coach Ford said that is not the reason why they let the kids leave early.

"We had a coach on staff that was from Hidalgo and came to me with the time change, and with it getting dark sooner, felt like those kids that lived there, we felt we could get them out as early as we could to make sure they could get home safe, and we did that," said Ford.

City of Hidalgo Mayor Sergio Coronado says the articles description of Hidalgo is false.

You living here, anytime, have you ever heard gunshots? We asked during the interview. "No, we have seen reports from Mexico. But to the extent that is described in the article, never," answered Coronado.

Coronado says he’s lived in Hidalgo for the past 20 years and says his city is one of the safest in the Valley.

"We are trying to contact USA Today to invite them and come to our community so they can do an investigation as to the context of our city and we are going to move forward with that," said Coronado.

The article does not quote Shea Patterson, only Patterson’s father and former coach Scott Ford.

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