The audience at a recent youth basketball league game in Ohio was recently greeted by jerseys featuring racist language, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
A team of seventh to 12th grade boys from Kings High arrived on the court wearing jerseys that said “Wet Dream Team” across the front.
On the back on each jersey, where a player’s name usually goes, were racist slurs. For example, one boy’s jersey read “Coon,” another’s “Knee Grow.”
The Kings boys began playing their opponents, boys from West Claremont High School.
In the stands, parents and fans started to talk, but not about the game.
West Claremont parent Tony Rue told the Enquirer, “It was so blatant that it had to be fake. Sadly it wasn’t.”
Rue took pictures of the jerseys and posted them to Facebook, along with a caption that expressed his anger about the uniforms.
“This isn’t a typo,” Rue wrote. “This isn’t a mistake, these ideas were thought of, discussed, agreed upon by adults and kids alike, printed on uniforms … no one thought this was a bad idea or inappropriate?”
At the start of the second quarter, officials halted the game. Representatives from both teams talked to the referees. Then the game was called. Both teams were escorted off the court.
At first, that was that. But as Rue’s images began to circulate, anger grew and pressure on the league built.
This week, a spokesperson for the league said that the Kings team wouldn’t be allowed to play any more games.
“The actions and conduct of the team in question did not comply with our stated mission and expected standards and that team has, therefore, been dismissed from our league,” the spokesperson said.
The King’s team coach did not explain why he allowed his team to play with the racist jerseys. However, in a statement, he did say, “We sincerely apologize to anyone that was offended by the jerseys. We offered to cover them up or change, however the league saw fit to remove us, and we have accepted that decision.”
For his part, Rue is still unsettled by the incident. “I couldn’t have made this up and had anyone believe me, I couldn’t have,” he said according to the New York Daily News. “You’re talking eight, nine layers of people and adults seeing these jerseys and thinking it’s just a joke.”