One Pennsylvania teen, who is originally from Guinea, recently had to endure his high school rival’s soccer team chanting “Ebola” at him during a match, WPVI reports.
According to the station, Ibrahim Toumkara, a Nazareth Area High School student and soccer player, got into a fight last week after he heard players from rival Northampton High School taunting him about the deadly virus, which has killed more than 4,000 people across West Africa, including in his home country.
“Being from western Africa and having family in that area, he didn’t take too kindly to those remarks and went after one of the players on the Northampton team,” the boy’s coach, Edward Bachert, explained. Bachert is also Ibrahim’s legal guardian, as well as a police chief for Lehigh County.
The 16-year-old moved away from Guinea three years ago, the station notes.
“There were tears coming down his eyes. He was visibly shaken by this, that it got to that level on the field,” Bachert added.
Ibrahim’s parents are still in West Africa, and according to WPVI, he is constantly worrying for them.
After the tasteless incident, both Northampton’s head soccer coach and its assistant coach resigned. Some of the student athletes are also expected to face disciplinary action, according to the station.
“This is part of the educational process to make sure that students are understanding sportsmanship and what’s happening out there in the world,” Northampton Area Superintendent Joseph Kovalchik said.
“I want them to know we are all the same; nothing can make us be different,” Ibrahim said.
Read more at WPVI.