Youth Basketball Team Booted from League for Wearing Racist Jerseys
This story references foul language, racist slurs, and other inappropriate content that readers may find offensive. Reader discretion is advised.
Outrage quickly circulated the stands of a basketball game on Jan. 7 after parents noticed something wrong with the visiting team’s uniforms.
The team in question represented the Kings Rec Basketball for grades 7-12 in Kings Mills, Ohio. Most members of the team attended Kings High School, but the team was not associated with the Kings Local School District.
At first, their jerseys appeared to be normal, with a team name on the front and a last name or nickname on the back. But after looking a bit closer, Tony Rue, a parent from the opposing West Clermont team, noticed the disgraceful words written on the Kings team’s uniforms.
The Kings team name on the front of the jersey was “The Wet Dream Team,” a highly inappropriate name, clearly sexual in nature.
The backs of the jerseys included many racial slurs, one jersey with the words “Knee Grow” (Negro) and another written “Coon,” supposedly a joke from the player whose last name was Kuhn.
Rue quickly took pictures of the offensive jerseys and called the Cincinnati Premier Youth Basketball League.
Legal officials immediately came to shut down the game before it was over. The Kings team was swiftly kicked out of the league and banned from using district practice facilities.
Many are furious that these players believed wearing the jerseys was okay in the first place. But perhaps the biggest question from parents seems to be how the jerseys even made it to the printer.
“I couldn’t have made this up and had anyone believe me, I couldn’t have,” Rue said. “You’re talking eight, nine layers of people and adults seeing these jerseys and thinking it’s just a joke.”
With such offensive material, adults involved with the team should have caught the incident sooner. But it appears that team management and even parents involved did not feel that anything was wrong.
“They were trying to say it was their last name, it was in joking fashion,” Rue said of the players when they were confronted. “Then their parents came over, and they were mad about paying the $7 entry fee and not completing the game.”
By Monday morning, the Cincinnati National Association for the Advancement of Colored People were involved.
“This is a teachable moment for them to understand how these words are hurtful,” the first VP of the Cincinnati NAACP Joe Mallory said.
“The adults who allowed the boys to wear the jerseys should be held accountable. It’s everybody’s problem. It’s everybody’s business that when these things happen we all stand up and speak out on it,” Mallory said.
Rue posted the offensive jersey images on Facebook, along with images from a Twitter account linked to the team.
The tweets were just as offensive as the jerseys, and the content of their posts caused further outrage across the internet.
Both the Kings Rec Basketball and the team coach issued statements on Monday.
“Kings Rec Basketball for grades 7-12 does not in any way support or condone the uniform infractions that occurred,” division coordinator Charrise Middleton said. “We strictly follow and support the rules set out by (Cincinnati Premier Youth Basketball League) and fully support their decision to remove the team from play as well.”
Middleton also issued a statement on behalf of the team coach, saying “We sincerely apologize to anyone that was offended by the jerseys. We offered to cover them up or change, however the league saw fit to remove us and we have accepted that decision.”
Hopefully, the players on this team can recognize the seriousness of the situation, apologize for their actions, and learn a valuable lesson from this disgraceful incident.
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