racism in sports

Black Players Taunted With Monkey Noises at NY HS Basketball Game

The Nyack Board of Education demanding the Pearl River School District launch a full investigation into the "racist and reprehensible" behavior

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Students making monkey noises taunted Black basketball players at a high school game in New York earlier this week, and parents and school leaders are demanding more aggressive action against those responsible.

The incident between varsity teams from Nyack and Pearl River happened Wednesday night at Pearl River's court. A video tweeted by Nyack's basketball program clearly shows the noises being made whenever a Black player on the Nyack team stepped to the free throw line.

"Pearl River missed the mark to correct abhorrent behavior. Stop the Game. Remove the Offenders. Do Better!" Nyack tweeted.

The mother of a Nyack player posted the same video to Instagram, and said the noises were being made during warmups and throughout the game as well.

The superintendent of the Pearl River School District released a letter to parents Thursday acknowledging the incident, with Dr. Marco Pochintesta writing he was "outraged" and that the "behavior will not be tolerated under any circumstances."

But parents called on Pearl River to do more, and the Nyack Board of Education issued its own statement on Friday demanding more action against what it called "racist and reprehensible" behavior.

"We have asked the Pearl River School District for a full investigation and report, and have also asked Section 1 Athletics to review this situation with the safety and mental well-being of our athletes as a top priority," the board said in a statement.

Rockland County Executive Ed Day also issued a statement condemning the behavior of the Pearl River students.

In the Nyack school district, some 16% of students are Black, according to New York State Department of Education data, versus just 2% in Pearl River -- though both districts are of similar size and their headquarters are only about seven miles apart.

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