Dec 9 - Girls HS B-Ball team suspended for racist pre-game chant 'One,two,three (N@gger)'

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 6 years ago '04        #1
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jlandryst 1545 heat pts1545
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Dec 9 - Girls HS B-Ball team suspended for racist pre-game chant 'One,two,three (N@gger)'
 

 

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At least a dozen Kenmore East High School girls varsity basketball players have been suspended and face other sanctions for using a racial slur as part of their regular pregame locker room chant. The practice apparently had been going on for years.

Teammates would hold hands before their games, say a prayer together, then yell "One, two, three [N-word]!" before running out onto the court, according to offended students.

The team's only African-American player this year, sophomore Tyra Batts, said she was shocked when she learned of the tradition before the team's opening game against Sweet Home High School last Friday.

"I said, 'You're not allowed to say that word because I don't like that word,'" she recalled. "They said, 'You know we're not racist, Tyra. It's just a word, not a label.' I was outnumbered."

Mark P. Mondanaro, superintendent of the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District, said no coaches, administrators or other adults with the school were aware of the "psych-up tradition" until Tyra was suspended for getting into a f!ght with another player over the use of racial slurs during practice and before games. "The minute an adult knew, we started our inquiry and investigation," Mondanaro said Thursday.

The girls apparently used their brief, private locker room time to say the chant after coaches and other adults had left.

A number of Kenmore East students said there's been a lot of racial tension at the high school since Tyra was suspended after attacking another student at school Monday. The female varsity basketball players have found themselves being ostracized and harassed, and chatter on social networking sites like Facebook reportedly has been filled with angry comments back and forth between white and minority students.

Tyra, 15, said that before the Sweet Home game, she argued with other players about the chant, but virtually no one took her side. "They said it's a tradition; they do it every year," she said.

During a later practice scrimmage game, she said she and another teammate exchanged words over some physical roughness on the court. Tyra said she "said something dumb," after which her teammate called her "a black piece of [expletive]." Then on Monday, she said, she saw the girl in school, threw her into a locker, choked and punched her. "It was a buildup of anger and frustration at being singled out of the whole team," she said.

Both girls were suspended for f!ghting.

Tyra added that her teammates would routinely make racial references and jokes during practice, including ones regarding slavery, shackles and "picking cotton." She said her coach, Kristy Bondgren, heard comments from other players about Tyra being black but was unaware of the pregame chant.

Bondgren did not a return a call to her cellphone seeking comment. Mondanaro said he is handling all media questions regarding this matter on behalf of the district.

Mondanaro said he personally apologized to Tyra, whom he declined to identify by name, and apologized to her parents as well. Kenmore East Principal Patrick Heyden also apologized.

As a result of the district's investigation, in which it was determined the basketball players violated both the school's conduct code and the extracurricular athletic code, Mondanaro announced the following disciplinary measures:

* All Kenmore East High School varsity girls basketball team practices have been suspended through the rest of this week.

* Saturday's scheduled game against Olean has been postponed.

* The related team field trip to St. Bonaventure University has been canceled.

* The student athletes will all serve a one-game suspension by the end of the season, at games to be determined at a later date. It's not expected that the girls would all be suspended for the same game, which would result in a forfeited game.

* Mondanaro is voluntarily rescinding last year's Niagara Frontier League Sportsmanship Award for the entire school.

* Students who engaged in the chant will receive a two-day, out-of-school suspension.

* The student athletes will be required to participate in cultural sensitivity training, which is being arranged through an outside agency.

Members of the Batts family said they appreciated the district's swift response but would have been happier to see harsher consequences, including a week's suspension for the students and the forfeiture of the team's entire season.

"This wasn't something that just developed this year," said Raymond Batts Jr., Tyra's father. "This is something that's been ongoing for quite some time."

Mondanaro responded that the district chose not to forfeit the team's entire season because that would also punish Tyra, who is a member of the team. There also would be negative ramifications for the other schools the girls play, he said.

Tyra said she would be willing to play at the lower junior varsity level for another year and wonders if it's possible for the team to continue under these circumstances. It would be awkward for her to continue playing with the team right now, she said, and she's concerned about teammates going up against other teams with more black players.

"It just wouldn't be safe," she said. "There would be a lot of conflict going on."

She also said only two of her teammates have apologized to her for their behavior.

Tyra initially faced the possibility of a long-term suspension for engaging in a f!ght at school, but she said it was later reduced to a straight five-day suspension that ends today after the circumstances of the f!ght became clear.

Raymond Batts said he thinks that's an appropriate punishment for his daughter, given the circumstances.

During his news conference Thursday, Mondanaro said, "The insensitive chant is absolutely unacceptable, insensitive and not representative of the diverse student body within the ... School District."

He said what the basketball players did is "wrong, unacceptable, unfortunate and will never, ever be tolerated" and hopes this type of behavior is not reflective of a larger problem involving racism in the district.


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 Basketball players suspended for N-word - Town of Tonawanda - The Buffalo News

193 comments for "Dec 9 - Girls HS B-Ball team suspended for racist pre-game chant 'One,two,three (N@gger)'"

 6 years ago '06        #2
"SS" 28 heat pts28
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any sports team is supposed to be a brotherhood or in this case a sisterhood sh*t like this just hangs a dark cloud over what Jackie Robinson did all those years ago its a dam shame this sh*t is still goin on on these times
 6 years ago '08        #3
demha88 3 heat pts
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$682 | Props total: 48 48
1 2 3 ******....really
 6 years ago '10        #4
LORD PLISSKEN 15 heat pts15
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$21,015 | Props total: 8032 8032
smh its 2011 b. this is sad as fu*k man white people are wild as fu*k
 6 years ago '08        #5
stlcardinals19 32 heat pts32
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WTF kinda chant is that?

"Hands in everyone!"

"1, 2, 3, ******!!!!"
 6 years ago '05        #6
MysticKJ 28 heat pts28
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$15,771 | Props total: 5547 5547
1,2,3,******?

that doesn't even make sense, how can you say the comment isn't meant to be offensive?

1,2,3,honda accord...would work just as well, unless they have a message for someone
 6 years ago '07        #7
Damagegadget 493 heat pts493
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$36,982 | Props total: 20004 20004
"were not racist its just a word"...:nasmad:
 6 years ago '08        #8
portis187 29 heat pts29
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the next time drew brees does his pregame chant with all the saints he should use that.
 6 years ago '06        #9
991 26 heat pts26
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Rofffffllllllll
 6 years ago '08        #10
Future 44 heat pts44
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 6 years ago '11        #11
Tony Franks 6 heat pts
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Lol, it made em feel badass before the game, I can dig it. they needed to stop that sh*t when ole girl showed up tho, unless they been winning chips aince they started sayin ninja, then they better not stop
 6 years ago '11        #12
PLK12 44 heat pts44
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fu*king white people
 6 years ago '11        #14
panelas 31 heat pts31
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wtf
 12-09-2011, 01:03 PM         #15
shut_the_fuk_up 
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 6 years ago '08        #16
slimdogg3325 1 heat pts
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speechless
 6 years ago '06        #17
frequent23 
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Lmao & smh at the same damn time (future voice)
 6 years ago '07        #18
carltouss619 8 heat pts
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not shocked
 6 years ago '04        #19
enetblazin4eva 4 heat pts
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Shocked this is a "tradition". I have noticed these younger kids love randomly using ninja.

 MysticKJ said:
1,2,3,honda accord...would work just as well, unless they have a message for someone
You're not allowed to say that(those) word(s) because I don't like that(those) word(s).

 12-09-2011, 03:45 PM         #20
SmiffStarr 
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I'm so confused as to why they even do this?

Do they get an adrenaline rush from chanting racist terms? What the fu*k kind of community did this happen in for this to have remained a tradition?

You'd think at least one of the dumb a.ss white girls on the team would have realized that the black girl on the team might take offense to it.
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