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African American students face racism at a high school hockey game

Senior+Adrian+Scott%2C+responds+to+the+Northwest+student+section.+The+final+score+was+a+4-4+tie.+%E2%80%9CThey+were+saying+stuff+but+they+weren%E2%80%99t+loud+enough+to+where+we+could+hear+them.+They+got+mad+at+us+when+we+would+chant%2C+%E2%80%98we+can%E2%80%99t+hear+you%E2%80%99%2C%E2%80%9D+Scott+said.+%E2%80%9CI+really+wanted+us+to+beat+them.%E2%80%9D
Senior Adrian Scott, responds to the Northwest student section. The final score was a 4-4 tie. “They were saying stuff but they weren’t loud enough to where we could hear them. They got mad at us when we would chant, ‘we can’t hear you’,” Scott said. “I really wanted us to beat them.”

Senior Adrian Scott, responds to the Northwest student section. The final score was a 4-4 tie. “They were saying stuff but they weren’t loud enough to where we could hear them. They got mad at us when we would chant, ‘we can’t hear you’,” Scott said. “I really wanted us to beat them.”

B Antonenko

B Antonenko

Senior Adrian Scott, responds to the Northwest student section. The final score was a 4-4 tie. “They were saying stuff but they weren’t loud enough to where we could hear them. They got mad at us when we would chant, ‘we can’t hear you’,” Scott said. “I really wanted us to beat them.”

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At the varsity hockey game against Northwest on Nov 3., an elderly man on the opposing side targeted senior Adrian Scott with a racist gesture, resulting in a backlash from the student section.

“I was at the bottom of our student section on the floor by the ice and we were chanting ‘Let’s Go West’ because it was tied,” Scott said. “I looked over, and a man in the stands looked at me and made monkey gestures and told me to go sit down. [He] basically called me a monkey.”

Taking deep breaths to prevent himself from eliciting a strong reaction to the man’s actions, Scott stepped away in an effort to calm down.

“I don’t know if he was necessarily racist or he was just mad, but it was either one of the two. I was honestly upset because I felt like he got away with it; I was upset that I couldn’t do anything about it,” Scott said. “It made me mad that I couldn’t react to it; I just had to sit there and take that from him.”

It made me mad that I couldn’t react to it; I just had to sit there and take that from him,”

— Adrian Scott

At first, the police threatened to force Scott and the man off the premises, but Scott and his friends refused to leave.

“He got up first to snitch on us. I walked up there as he was talking to the cop, and once I got up there, he basically pointed at me. That’s when I told the other cop what happened. They kept talking to him and kicked him out,” Scott said. “I was still upset but at the same time, I guess they handled it in their way.”

Not only did the incident anger Scott, but it also angered fellow senior Leul Mesfin.

“Obviously, I got really mad because it’s just not okay. A lot of people were surprised he said that and oblivious to the fact that people are still racist and think things like that,” Mesfin said. “I got angered because that’s not okay. You can’t go around saying that to teenagers when you’re a grown old man.”

Along with the conflict involving Scott at the game, competition between the two schools heated up as well and ultimately led to yelling and profanity in the stands.

You can’t go around saying that to teenagers when you’re a grown old man,”

— Leul Mesfin

“What we were doing wasn’t right, but at the same time, you can’t stop it. It was just going back and forth,” Scott said. “It got taken to a whole other level when [the man] did that.”

Northwest High School junior Trey Johnson said the man’s anger got the best of him, but Johnson believes the man’s comment does not define Northwest High School. 

“That is not what our student body is about,” Johnson said.

After the game finished, Mesfin had an argument with the elderly man in the parking lot. The scene caught the attention of the police, and Mesfin received a pat-down at his car because police officers believed he was carrying arms.  

“[The old man] was saying ‘you guys are liars’ and ‘monkeys’ and insulting stuff,” Mesfin said. “I said things back, but nothing like ‘I’m going to shoot you’.”

The police officers at the scene were looking for a tall black male with a white sweatshirt, under the impression the male would have a gun. Mesfin was wearing a red sweatshirt and did not fit the description, but the police searched all of his belongings and found nothing.

“That’s when I saw other cops swarm me; they thought I had a gun on me, and they searched everything and my car without my permission,” Mesfin said. “I think they searched me because I was black and because I was obviously angry. It’s a normal thing to be angry when someone says something racist like that.”

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Students in the stands cheer when the Longhorns scored their third goal. Mid-states gave the referee’s the power to call penalties on the student section for cursing and other unsportsmanlike conduct, however, no penalties like this were called during the game. “I for sure thought that there should’ve been someone making sure that both groups were under control,” Scott said.

Junior Peyton Aalfs was an eyewitness to this scene when walking to a friend’s car.

“The fact that they had four or five cops come to his car and make a scene about it seemed really ridiculous,” Aalfs said.

Despite the unrest of that evening, Scott plans to continue attending school-sponsored functions in the community because he hopes to put an end to racist views.

“It made me want to go to more [school events] because it obviously shows how we can not necessarily get under other people’s skin, but affect people that much,” Scott said. “We’re just students—I was literally just chanting with my student section, and I got picked on like that. It shows not what people necessarily think, but how they can react.”

 

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4 Comments

4 Responses to “African American students face racism at a high school hockey game”

  1. Alina Dunder on December 6th, 2017 8:02 pm

    Some people just never grow up and accept that times have changed, and unfortunately that is something everyone has to deal with on their own terms for whatever reason. Hopefully, maybe one day that elderly man will look back and regret that he was blind to see that African Americans are people too. Nonetheless, you treat people how you want to be treated, and from what I’ve read here, those boys did not and do not deserve the “treatment” they received.

  2. Campbell Stewart on December 7th, 2017 12:22 pm

    Glad your bringing light to this horrible situation!!

  3. Zaven Nalbandian III on December 7th, 2017 5:35 pm

    I’m glad you brought to light the issue of the racism that the black students faced at the hockey game. However, I was in attendance to that game and this story failed to cover the derogatory statements made by the West students to the Northwest fans and parents. I think it is important to cover both sides of the issue.

  4. B Antonenko on December 8th, 2017 10:44 am

    @Zaven Nalbandian III, thank you for noticing, I tried to add that under my second photo caption, but the main reason I didn’t go into detail about that is because it wasn’t the most important angle in my opinion, the angle the student population spoke most on was that racism is closer to home than we think, but truly thank you for your input and reading it! I was not covering one side over the other since this was not an editorial, rather I asked students questions with the intention of finding out what happened, again I appreciate your feedback!

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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African American students face racism at a high school hockey game