Listen to Elder High School cheering section use racial, ethnic and homophobic chants against St. Xavier basketball players. Read Elder principal's apology. https://t.co/n4CCQxYIrN #EHSSports #stxsports pic.twitter.com/ND0Yhv68NE— WCPO (@WCPO) February 6, 2018
According to WLWT-TV, while playing against St. Xavier High school, the Elder High School students began to chant the name of a Chinese restaurant at an Asian-American player, used racial slurs against a black player, and shouted homophobic slurs when called out for their racial remarks.
"I was sickened, just sickened," said Susan Stockman, the mother of the Asian-American player who was targeted with racist abuse. "They were relentless. It went as far as, 'Asian, open your eyes. Go play chess, PF Chang's.'"
Some parents said that Elder students mocked the black St. Xavier player, calling him fat and a crack addict who received welfare benefits.
"Very quickly, the cheers turned to what I phrased as microaggressions and racial slurs," said Mina Jefferson, whose son endured the bigoted behavior.
Jefferson suggested the all-boys Catholic school's administrators did not take action quickly enough when Elder High School students taunted their opponents from St. Xavier High School.
"It's surreal," Jefferson said. "I mean, you hear it and you assume someone's going to act swiftly, seize the moment, and let that be the lesson -- and that didn't occur. So then you're dealing with just an absence, a failure of leadership."
This behavior went on from the first quarter through the third until referees finally ended the game. Jefferson said that Elder students yelled homophobic slurs after St. Xavier students called them racist, and that it took the opposing team's coach to approach the referee to ask them to do something about it.
Kurt Ruffing, principal of Elder High School, has apologized.
"Look around you -- you have students, your classmates who are of different race, of different ethnicity, sitting right next to you. Is that how you would treat them," he said.
If the parents and coach from St. Xavier heard what Elder students were chanting, surely parents of the Elder students did as well. Jefferson said that none of the parents called out the students for their language and that says a lot.
These parents put their children in these schools to get an education and to learn about morals taught in the bible. It's disheartening, but this sort of behavior is not new and dates back to slavery and the Holocaust. Slave masters used religion as a way to instill fear and keep African slaves in check, while churches were complicit during the Holocaust.
Instead of speaking out against genocide, most stood idly by while innocent people perished in concentration camps. It seems that in 2018, nothing has changed.
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