Wisconsin boys high school playoff game marred with allegations of racism, antisemitism: ‘This is 2023’
A boys’ basketball game at a Wisconsin high school last week was marred by accusations of racism and anti-Semitism, according to the parents of players on one of the teams.
Beloit Memorial High school played Muskego High School in the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Division 1 Regional Semifinals.
Beloit Memorial players found drawings of swastikas, the N word and the word “monkey” on the tops of lockers, according to to FOX6. Parents also recorded Muskego students wearing black face masks and tank tops, allegedly to illustrate a black person.
“This is 2023. They were chanting the N word and ‘monkey’ and they were making monkey noises,” Tanya Karl, a parent of a Beloit Memorial basketball player, told the station.
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Other Beloit parents alleged that Muskego fans pretended to smoke “blunts,” according to the Beloit Daily News. Spectators told the newspaper that some fans had been kicked out of the match.
The Muskego-Norway school district issued a statement about the incident on Sunday.
On Friday night, Muskego High School hosted a game against Beloit Memorial High School. After the game ended, the MHS administration received an email from the athletic director of Beloit Memorial expressing concern about the student division theme and racist imagery being used in the dust had been found on top of the gym lockers. We were deeply disappointed and saddened by the information shared,” the statement read on Facebook.
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“Student safety is our number one priority and we are working to ensure that students have a positive and rewarding experience while participating in a safe environment. We take these types of allegations very seriously and immediately began investigating with the support of the Muskego Police Department. The active investigation continues and includes working with the Beloit administrators, interviewing students, reviewing the recorded event and assessing the school environment. Consequences for inappropriate actions will be determined quickly.
“We apologize for any behavior that occurred that evening that does not represent the values of Muskego High School or the Muskego Norway community. In addition, we are deeply committed to improving processes that ensure we are committed to providing an environment that meets the expectations of our community and demonstrates respect for others.”
The WIAA sets rules for sportsmanship on its website.
“Interscholastic athletics must be maintained on a moral and educational platform. Every student-athlete must be able to compete in a climate of respect, free from threats, free from fear, harassment and harassment,” the rules read in part.
“Harassment is conduct directed toward a person’s gender, race, religion, creed, age, national origin, ancestry, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, or disability that significantly disrupts a student’s academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive school environment. Harassment can be verbal, non-verbal or physical during athletic competitions.”
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Kevin Zimmerman, a member of the Muskego-Norway school council, told TMJ4 that “strict discipline” will disappear after an investigation confirms the parents’ reports.