A New Jersey girl's high school basketball team walked into an unfortunate display of racism while attending their away game.
The Plainfield High School team, which is made up of Black and Latina students, went to Arthur L. Johnson High School in Clark for a weekend game. When the team arrived before the exhibition, they were shown to their changing room, which happened to be where the school's puppetry class was taught.
Although they saw many puppets in the room, one puppet in particular caught their eye for the wrong reasons.
Several girls from the team took photos of the puppet before the start of the game. The Cardinals coach, Keshon Bennett, confirmed the presence of the puppet in the room, reported Courier News and Home Tribune.
Bennett then took his girls to play in the game, where they lost 64-20. Afterward, he immediately escorted them to the bus and they went home.
“When others go low, we must continue to go high! Racism is alive and well...,” Terence Johnson posted in Facebook group The Buzz In and Around Plainfield, New Jersey. “PHS girls bball team found this in the locker at they game today at A.L Johnson in Clark!”
Although Clark Superintendent of Schools Edward Grande confirmed the visiting team was placed in the school’s puppetry room, across from the gym, he also released a statement that said they are investigating the incident, reported Tap Into Clark.
“The Clark Board Education and the Clark Community does not condone any demonstrations of intolerance,” the statement read. “The Board will promptly and thoroughly investigate this matter to determine what occurred following the basketball game on January 7th and will take remedial action as necessary. It is premature to make any further statements until such time as the investigation is completed. Good sportsmanship and respect of fellow and opponent teammates has and will always continue to be an integral part of Crusader Athletics.”
The Clark superintendent has opened an investigation into the incident.