Students, principal sorry for racist act at hoops game

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STUDENT leaders at Maples Collegiate and their principal travelled across the city Monday to offer an apology to a student athlete from Transcona who alleges basketball fans directed racist sounds towards him at an away-game last week.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 08/03/2022 (330 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

STUDENT leaders at Maples Collegiate and their principal travelled across the city Monday to offer an apology to a student athlete from Transcona who alleges basketball fans directed racist sounds towards him at an away-game last week.

The Winnipeg junior varsity boys basketball teams at Maples and Transcona Collegiate Institute faced off during a tight playoff game hosted by the former, a Grade 9-12 building in the Seven Oaks School Division, on March 1. Maples won 89-87.

A short video of the game started making the rounds on social media late last week; in the clip, which was uploaded to TikTok, spectators can be heard cheering and making screeching sounds in the background as players compete.

The Grade 10 student who uploaded the video, who is among the racialized players on the TCI team, wrote in his post — which he has since taken down, citing an apology from his opponents’ school — that members of the audience were making monkey-like sounds at him.

When reached by the Free Press, the teenager said he heard the sounds throughout the game when he was on the court. The situation has been dealt with, he said, adding he met Monday with representatives from Maples.

Maples’ principal was quick to act when he became aware of the incident and organized a visit to TCI early Monday to offer a formal apology while condemning the behaviour, said Brian O’Leary, superintendent of Seven Oaks.

“We haven’t been able to identify who’s responsible, so the student body at Maples is upset. This is not how they want their school portrayed. The staff are upset. This is not how they want their school portrayed,” O’Leary said

“The school’s record, in terms of anti-racism, has been really strong… This is a blemish on a really good reputation.”

Kelly Barkman, superintendent of the River East Transcona School Division, said via email Monday that TCI’s principal was working with the affected student and family to address the matter.

Per the Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association, host schools and divisions have “absolute discretion” on who they want to allow into facilities to watch games in real-time at present.

“We certainly love to see when (fans) show up and are enthusiastic about the games and the matches and we understand the competitiveness and rivalries against schools and good-natured enthusiasm, but in terms of racism… it won’t be tolerated,” said Chad Falk, executive director of MHSAA.

Falk condemned the “sad and unfortunate” situation that happened March 1. He indicated Monday he had spoken with Maples’ athletic director — who echoed his disappointment — and is confident the high school in north Winnipeg is taking the right steps to ensure such an event does not happen again.

maggie.macintosh@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @macintoshmaggie

Maggie Macintosh

Maggie Macintosh
Reporter

Maggie Macintosh reports on education for the Winnipeg Free Press. Funding for the Free Press education reporter comes from the Government of Canada through the Local Journalism Initiative.

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