Image: John Hickey/Buffalo News
This is a story about insensitivity, stupidity and racism all rolled up in one high school girls’ basketball team from Kentucky. It seems that the girls had a pregame locker room ritual cheer which went like this, “1-2-3 N-Word,” only they said the N-word rather than using this “polite company” variation. What, you might ask, does this have to do with basketball or getting the team psyched for the game. I have no idea. You’d have to ask the team.
When the one black girl on the team objected to the chant, her white teams told her it was just a joke and that they were not racist. Really? You could’ve fooled me.
Anyway, the whole thing came to light when the black player had a fist fight with one of her teammates in the school hallway over it. She also told school officials that the team used racist slurs during practice directed at her. The team was suspended for two days. The black player was suspended for fighting for five days. Hmmmm. The team also has to undergo “cultural sensitivity” training. How about a racism awareness training instead.
This news report is interesting in that a former player who is biracial is interviewed in the video and defends her former teammates. I wonder how the reporter came up with the idea of featuring this student excusing the use of a racist slur. It puts an interesting spin on the story. Is this some new and warped kind of “equal time”?
I wonder where the coach was during practice or in the locker room when the pregame chants were used? She was not available for an interview for the article. She should have been front and center making it clear that she would not condone this kind of behavior on her team and saying what she is going to do to make sure that nothing like this happens again. Instead she is MIA. What a missed opportunity for the girls’ team to get something right.
After a week of sports news about pedophile coaches, brawling basketball players and performance enhancing drug using baseball players, I guess a little racism on a girls’ basketball team rounds out the picture of what’s wrong in sports quite nicely, don’t you think?