What’s Behind All The Racism At Youth Sports Events?
It seems like if you go to a school athletic event — at any level — and one team is all-white or almost all-white and the other is not, you’re going to see something racist happen. These incidents were reported in recent weeks:
- Racial slurs directed by white fans at black opposing players are suspected of fueling a post-game brawl at a high school basketball game in San Antonio.
- White students at a posh Cincinnati prep school chanted racial slurs at two minority players on an opposing basketball team.
- The captain of a high school soccer team in the Fresno, Calif., area was suspended for two games after directing a racial slur at two black players on the opposing team.
- The owner of an Idaho youth soccer club whose members are mostly minority or immigrant families said a racist, threatening letter was placed on his car.
- The seventh-grade girls basketball team from Licking County, Ohio, kneeled before the playing of the national anthem in protest of the racial slurs that had been directed at it all year by its mostly all-white opponents. (Meanwhile, someone took a photo of that protest and shared it on Facebook, incorrectly claiming the players knelt during the anthem.)
- White fans at one Iowa high school directed racial slurs at the basketball players of another, a team that included many Hispanic students.
- Two white Kentucky high school basketball players — including one committed to playing at Furman University — were suspended for two games after a video that included racially charged comments against their opponents from a team consisting of mostly black players.
Keep in mind that these are only incidents that were reported publicly, and only in the last weeks. I’m sure there were plenty of other incidents that occurred but didn’t get attention, and I say this based on racist behavior at youth sporting events that people have reported to me privately.