Two high school soccer coaches in eastern Pennsylvania had to resign after their players hurled “Ebola” taunts at an opponent from West Africa.
The incident reportedly occurred in a match against Nazareth High School last week when a 16-year-old player from the school was subjected to racist slurs, which led to an altercation and eventually his ejection from the game.
According to the boy, identified as Ibrahim Toumkara, the comments amounted to either "You have Ebola" or "I hope you get Ebola."
After an investigation into the unpleasant incident, two coaches of the Northampton Area School District submitted their resignation. Superintendent Joseph Kovalchik said he met with the team and vowed to take appropriate disciplinary action against students involved.
Edward Bachert, a local police chief whose family took in Toumkara when he came from West Africa three years ago, commented that the boy was shaken by the taunts.
"I think some of it was trash talk. He had scored the first goal," Bachert said. "Getting him out of the game was certainly an advantage. I don't know if that was the strategy."
He added Toumkara’s parents still live in Guinea – one of the hardest hit regions by the viral disease – and the boy worries about them given the Ebola outbreak there.
While speaking to a local news channel, Toumkara hoped the episode teaches students about tolerance and respect.
"We are all the same, nothing makes us different," he added.
Watch his complete interview with WFMZ in the video below:
Cases of racism involving Ebola in the United States are becoming frequent ever since the disease was first reported earlier this month.
A Texas college is denying admission to applicants from countries with confirmed Ebola cases, even if those nations have no current cases of the dreaded disease.
Idris Ayodeji Bello, an advocate for African immigrants in the U.S., took to Twitter on Sunday and shared a letter from Navarro College in Corsicana sent to at least two Nigerian students who applied to the college.
According to the document, the institute "is not accepting international students from countries with confirmed Ebola cases," CNBC reported.
Earlier this year in April, it was widely reported that racist elements in Italy mistreated African immigrants in the country, falsely accusing them of contracting the virus.
Given the rampant spread of the lethal Ebola virus, which has killed more than 4,500 people so far, according to the World Health Organization, panicking is inevitable. However, using it as an excuse to achieve pathetic, ulterior motives is just wrong.
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