High school lacrosse team says racial slurs hurled at them from crowd during game

Published: Apr. 30, 2022 at 3:00 PM AKDT
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ATLANTA (WGCL) - Four Black lacrosse players from a Georgia high school say racial slurs were hurled at them while recently playing against another school.

And now the girls are demanding an apology and for those responsible to be held accountable.

“The heckling became more aggressive, more direct, more racially motivated,” said Aja Thomas, a goaltender with the Brookwood High School girl’s lacrosse team.

Thomas said that she heard the first racial slur 10 minutes into the second half of the game. Moments later, she heard it again coming from a group of seven or eight boys in the stands.

“It elevated to something way deeper than just lacrosse,” said Leah Brown, a Brookwood lacrosse player.

In the state playoff lacrosse game at Cherokee High School, the girls said after a warning, a referee asked the boys to leave.

According to the Georgia High School Association, “Profanity, degrading remarks, and intimidating actions directed at officials, competitors, or other spectators will not be tolerated and are grounds for removal from the event site.”

But the girls said the boys never left. And in a statement, Cherokee High School’s principal wrote, “The administration at CHS spent several hours interviewing coaches, players, other spectators and students who were present at the game and none heard any racial slurs.”

The girls said they want an apology and to see accountability from Cherokee High School and the state.

“In their statement, they, in essence, called us liars,” said Alexis Scoggins, a Brookwood lacrosse player.

Lacrosse is a predominantly white sport, and as Black athletes, the players said they want to feel empowered to speak and stand out.

“The fact that I can’t play a high school game without those constant reminders that I am different, following me, I felt really distraught,” Thomas said.

A spokesperson for the school district said they stand by the principal’s statement.

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