In Wisconsin, a high school girls’ soccer game took a frightening turn when fans began heckling and using racial slurs including rhetoric such as, “Donald Trump, build that wall.”
As Elkhorn High School defeated Beloit Memorial girls 5-0, Elkhorn fans took the opportunity to make the loss even worse, reports Alfred Ng for The New York Daily News. The girls, a majority of whom were black or Hispanic, were extremely disturbed by the disrespectful ridicule.
“They came off the field and weren’t able to finish the game because they were too upset and distraught over what happened to them,” Brian Denu, the girls soccer coach told Channel 3000. “One of the girls was cradled in the arms of one of our assistant coaches for a good 15 to 20 minutes.”
The two school are in different conferences, but there is an annual exhibition game that has been well-supported until now. This was the first time Elkhorn fans had directed racist jabs at a diverse team.
Chuck Seils, Beloit Memorial school district’s athletic director, said he did not understand why the students from Elkhorn hurled insults at the players, but he added that he hoped Elkhorn’s administration would deal with the students in an appropriate manner.
Elkhorn officials said they were looking into the event and would be speaking with the responsible students. Roughly 85% of the Elkhorn’s student body is white.
Denu stated that he was shocked that such a public racist display could happen in 2016. But Trump’s name has been associated with racial slurs before this incident.
Students at an Indiana high school in February waved a poster with the billionaire’s face on it and chanted, “Build a Wall!” The team was playing against Bishop Noll Institute, a school with many Hispanic students.
In February, a basketball game between predominantly white Dallas Center-Grimes High School and diverse Perry High School, included “Trump” chants that could be heard throughout the match.
“People who have racist viewpoints have been able to successfully use ‘Trump’ as a code-phrase for derogatory, racist statements,” said Joe Enriquez Henry, the National Vice President of the Midwest Region for the League of United Latin Citizens.
According to Ollie Gillman, reporting for the Daily Mail, Denu said that he believed the students were good kids who had some seriously bad ideas in their heads. No action was taken at the time of the incident, but the rules of soccer allow the referee to remove unruly fans from the area or suspend a game based on “outside interference.”
The DailyMail reporter added that if Donald Trump is elected, he plans to build a wall along the border between the US and Mexico to regulate illegal immigration. He also says Mexico will pay for the wall.
The Elkhorn superintendent said that school officials are sorry for and regret any comments or chants that were shouted at the game. They said this kind of behavior was not in line with the values of Elkhorn. He shared that the supervision plan for the school was being modified to ensure that this type of behavior does not occur in the future, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Kertscher.