MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - A Minneapolis North basketball player received a racist social media message after the team won a semifinal game at the Minnesota high school basketball tournament Friday night.
Minneapolis North High Coach Larry McKenzie says one of his players received a "profane and racist" message on social media after the game against Chokio Alberta Friday night. The message sent contained the N-word and other derogatory language.
"I wish I could say that such a comment is uncommon, but it is not," he wrote. "These are the types of incidents our program must regularly deal with, and are becoming all too common throughout our state."
The Minnesota State High School League says school administrators from Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta Schools had the student remove his message after they found out and says the district is holding the Chokio-Alberta student accountable for his behavior.
Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta Schools has since apologized for the incident and are investigating it. The district has not said what, if any, disciplinary actions will be taken against the student responsible.
"This incident is not a reflection of the values and thoughts of our school district," Superintendent Shane Monson wrote. "We are saddened by this incident and wish to apologize to the players, coaches, fans, and community of Minneapolis North."
North High coach McKenzie says the incident is "an unfortunate and unexpected distraction" as the team prepares for the state championship game against Annadale Schools Saturday afternoon.
Minneapolis North takes 71-63 victory over Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta on Friday at Minnesota State High School Basketball Tournament.
North High statement
Here is the full statement North High School basketball coach Larry McKenzie posted on Twitter Saturday:
On Friday night, one of our Minneapolis North players received a profane and racist message via social media.
I wish I could say that such a comment is uncommon, but it is not; these are the types of incidents our program must regularly deal with, and are becoming all too common throughout our state.
But my heart breaks for my players, who lost a teammate weeks ago, have not been able to attend school due to a teachers strike and barely had time to celebrate a hard-fought victory over Morris Area/ Chokio-Alberta.
This is an unfortunate and unexpected distraction for our program, in preparation for the opportunity to compete for a championship Saturday against Annandale.
We hope this young man will be held accountable for his message, but we also hope that he and others can learn such racially charged comments are hurtful and unacceptable under any circumstance.
In response to the incident, Morris Area Schools Superintendent Shane Monson sent the following statement to FOX 9:
Morris Area Schools became aware of an unfortunate incident at the state basketball tournament. This incident is not a reflection of the values and thoughts of our school district. The Chokio Alberta school district will be investigating and following state high school league and school discipline policies. Our administration and coaches have been in contact with Minneapolis Public School and Minneapolis North school officials. We are saddened by this incident and wish to apologize to the players, coaches, fans, and community of Minneapolis North.
The Minnesota State High School League released the following statement on the incident:
Late Friday evening, following the Class AA Boys Basketball State Tournament game between Minneapolis North and Morris Area/Chokio Alberta, the League was informed that a student-athlete from North received a profane and racist message via social media from a Chokio Alberta student. The League was in immediate contact with administrators from both schools. Morris Area and Chokio-Alberta took immediate action by having the student remove the post and is holding the student accountable for his behavior. Morris Area and Chokio-Alberta administration have been in contact with Minneapolis North administration to communicate sincere apologies and regret for this unacceptable behavior. North administrators and others provided support to the student-athlete, his family and the team.
The Minnesota State High School League vehemently condemns hate speech, harassment, or any behavior meant to cause harm to others. These actions have no place in our schools or activities and the League is committed to holding students responsible for all behaviors that are a direct violation of the belief that ethical behavior, dignity and respect are nonnegotiable.