By Herald Staff
There has been anger and outrage following racial badgering of Black and Asian players on the St. Xavier High School basketball team by members of the Elder High School cheering section during a game at Elder on Friday, February 3.
Elder students were heard chanting racial and homophobic slurs throughout the entire game before the game was stopped in the third quarter by the St. Xavier coach, who also became a target of the chanting, said parents who talked to The Cincinnati Herald but wanted to remain anonymous. They said the scene was unbelievable. One of their sons, who is Black, was faced with comments that their son was on crack and welfare, while the other player, who is Asian, heard “P.F. Chang’s” in reference to a Chinese restaurant, and “open your eyes.’’ Others said they heard the Elder students call the St. Xavier men “faggots.”
Both teams play in the Greater Catholic League, with Elder on Cincinnati’s West Side and St. Xavier in Finneytown. Archbishop Dennis Schnurr issued a statement Wednesday condemning the racist chants by the Elder students’ cheering section during the game Friday.
One Elder High School student was escorted out of the game and those involved are being disciplined, said Curt Ruffing, Elder High School principal. He also said seven or eight Elder students will be going to St. X this week to have lunch with students there, talk about what happened and apologize.
On Tuesday, Ruffing apologized for the situation and gave his students this message: “Look around you. You have students, your classmates, who are of different races, of different ethnicities, sitting right next to you. Is that how you would treat them?”
Officials at St. X said they are proud of how their students and players responded to the situation.
Terrence Tyrrell, principal of St. Xavier High School, released this statement:
“I am proud of the way our athletes and student section responded to the chants of the Elder students. Our students showed restraint in both their actions and what they said. You responded as ‘men for others.’ Being men and women for others means calling out injustice and naming it for what it is. While it is easy to point fingers at Elder today, we also need to look within our community at times where we have fallen short in this area. All of us need to reflect and discern on what happened at Elder, and what happens at St. X, to make sure we are not actively, or silently, participating in this behavior.’’