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Ohio rec basketball league boots team because of racist jerseys

January 10, 2018

Ohio rec basketball league boots team because of racist jerseys

BATAVIA, Ohio — Jerseys with racist and offensive names on them got a team kicked out of a high school recreational basketball league and has raised questions how it was allowed to happen in the first place, reports say.

The team, which mostly consisted of players from Kings High School, had jerseys with the name “Wet Dream Team” on the front and names on the back such as “Coon” and “Knee Grow,” cincinnati.com reports.

The team wore the jerseys during a game Sunday at West Clermont Middle School, causing a stir among parents in the stands, who began taking pictures and posting them on social media, WCPO Channel 9 reports.

The Cincinnati Premier Youth Basketball League stopped the game because of the jerseys, according to WCPO.

Tony Rue, a parent whose son was playing in the game, tells WCPO he wonders how the jerseys managed to get past the team’s coach, as well as printers and the players’ parents. The league was four weeks into the season, cincinnati.com reports.

“I couldn’t have made this up and had anyone believe me, I couldn’t have,” Rue tells WCPO. “You’re talking eight, nine layers of people and adults seeing these jerseys and thinking it’s just a joke.”

The team has been removed from the rec league, which is for players in grades 7-12.

An opposing coach tells cincinnati.com he confronted the Kings players about the jerseys after a game on Dec. 17 and said the players only laughed. He also said the team’s coach, Walt Gill, said nothing when confronted.

“They thought it was a funny joke,” Milford coach Jason DiTullio tells cincinnati.com. He said he took pictures and meant to report it to league officials but got distracted by preparations for the holidays.

League officials say no one reported the jerseys during the first three weeks of the season.

The Kings team did issue a statement through the league saying: “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.”

A spokeswoman for the Kings Local School District tells cincinnati.com she could not discuss if the students on the rec team will be disciplined. The team is not officially associated with the school district, she said.

The vice president of the Cincinnati NAACP says the group is investigating and wants to sit down with the league, WCPO reports.