Sports

Racist chants rain down on Iowa high school basketball team

Racist chants rain down on Iowa high school basketball team

The Storm Lake Tornadoes were subject to racially-motivated taunts from home fans when they travelled to to take on the Tigers in the neigbouring town of Spencer.

The Storm Lake Tornadoes visited the Spencer Tigers on January 19 for a game, and students from the mostly white host school jeered their out-of-town rivals with racist taunts, reported the Globe Gazette.

The student body of the Storm Lake Community Schools is comprised of upwards of 80% non-Caucasian students.

According to reports, supporters of the Tigers shook their vehicle keys at the Storm Lake players and chanted "lock up your cars".

At least one Spencer High School student, who is African-American, stated on social media that he was seated in the front row at the game, and if any racial slurs had been chanted, he'd have heard them, and said they "wouldn't slide by with me".

Spencer High School superintendent Terry Henman has condemned the actions of his students and has appealed to parents and pupils to be more considerate to those from immigrant and non-white backgrounds.

Some Spencer students wore patriotic clothing as part of a "USA Night" event at the game, but the theme wasn't endorsed by school officials and only about 10 percent of the students there wore flag-themed attire.

Espanyol demand Piqué and Busquets investigation
They also denounced Barcelona's supporters for alleged offensive chanting in Thursday's second leg. Barcelona have been contacted by Omnisport for their reaction to the allegations.

Administrators from Spencer disciplined students the evening of the game and this week, Hemann said.

"I've know the Spencer High School principal for years, and I know she felt frightful about what happened", Ruleaux said. He did not go into the details of the discipline, citing student privacy laws. "It's not what we believe in", Hemann said. "We had some students that made some poor decisions and we're using this as a learning opportunity and making better choices at the next opportunity".

Turner said the chanting isn't anything new for Storm Lake athletes.

"We're different than other communities in northwest Iowa and most communities in Iowa", Storm Lake Superintendent Carl Turner told the Des Moines Register.

The diversity of the town prompted journalist Katie Couric to come visit previous year.

The schools have an intense sports rivalry, and Spencer fans yelled "go back to where you came from" previous year after a football game. Hemann said the districts responded with an exchange initiative for students from both schools to better understand each other.


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