The struggle with Trump-era racism is too real. One man couldn’t believe the words that he saw written on a youth basketball team’s jerseys during a recent game in Batavia, Ohio. He took photos that captured players with uniforms that read “Coon” and “Knee Grow,” a hateful play on the word “Negro.”
“I couldn’t have made this up and had anyone believe me, I couldn’t have,” Tony Rue, a parent who attended the game at the West Clermont Middle School in the Ohio village just outside of Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon, said to WCPO. “You’re talking eight, nine layers of people and adults seeing these jerseys and thinking it’s just a joke.”
A joke, really? Well, this “joke” has cost the whole team the rest of their season. Players, who are part of the independent recreational Cincinnati Premier Youth Basketball League not affiliated with the Batavia school district, are now riding the bench.
But racial slurs are not the team’s only problem: the group’s sexually suggestive name, “Wet Dream Team” has also pissed people off.
The Cincinnati NAACP is fighting the hate. Members are investigating and want to sit down with the league, Joe Mallory, vice president of the local NAACP branch, said.
Community members hope to find out why the racist and sexist jerseys weren’t reported earlier, WKYC reported. The jerseys went unreported for the first three games of the season, with the team having worn them during a December 17 match-up. Jason DiTullio, the coach of the opposing team that played the disgraced players in December, said he took pictures and told referees about the uniforms. However, he neglected to tell a representative of the Cincinnati Premier Youth Basketball League at the time.
The players wearing the offensive jerseys laughed in DiTullio’s face when he told them the uniforms were racist, he said.
Officials from the recreational league issued a lame apology on behalf of the disgraced team’s coach, Walt Gill on Monday. It’s time for another shake our heads moment.