Fans of a high school soccer team showed what true sportsmanship means to two black players from the opposing team...by calling them racial slurs and other names, of course.
According to Good4Utah, the Canyons school district has launched an investigation after fans sitting in Alta High School’s student section apparently shouted racial slurs at the two black students, who represented Sky View High School soccer team.
“I didn’t know what to do. I was so shocked. I was so confused,” Emmie Woodward, a senior at Sky View, recalled.
Emmie and her sister, Darcy, developed a love for soccer, and are often the only black players on their soccer teams growing up in Smithfield The two sisters were both adopted by Mark and Kate Woodward, Emmie since she was 7, and Darcy as a baby. They’ve never had an issue before.
“Skin color has never mattered. It’s never been anything that I’ve focused on,” Darcy said. The sisters have always had respectful teammates and opponents, that is, until Tuesday evening when they ran into the fans of Alta.
“It was probably 10 minutes into the first half when I heard a guy say, ‘Black lives don’t matter,’” Emmie recalled. “I was so hurt because I never thought people would say something like that to me.”
“One person said, ‘Hey, number 20. I hope you’re embarrassed.’ I heard another one of them say, ‘Nice shot, nigger,’” Darcy added.
Both girls told a referee and staff members what happened, but nothing was done to stop the horrible taunts during the came.
Now, their parents, both of whom are white, are demanding answers.
“There are two aspects to this whole thing. One is with the students were doing. But the second is what the adults were NOT doing,” Kate Woodward said. “This is bullying. This is abuse and parents need to step up and teach their kids that this is not acceptable in a high school situation or a sports situation.”
Canyons School District’s Jeff Haney said the principal at Alta immediately started interviewing people who were at the game in order to get statements, with the main focus being on identifying the individuals who allegedly shouted the slurs.
Canyons District has a very strong anti-discrimination, harassment, bullying policy. We do not tolerate acts of discrimination, harassment, or bullying on any Canyon District campus. We want to make sure that any student that comes to Canyons School District, whether they’re part of one of our schools or part of an athletic team from another school, that they feel welcome
Any verified acts of discrimination or harassment or bullying, there will be discipline to the full extent under policy. We have also started a plan to how we will address this within the Alta High community. It’s important for us to send the message loud and clear that all students are welcome