A high school soccer team in Northampton, Pennsylvania is facing harsh criticism after several players allegedly taunted a West African opponent by chanting "Ebola!"
The soccer team's coaches have resigned, and its players are facing disciplinary action, according to The Morning Call (Allentown, Pennsylvania).
On Thursday of last week, the Northampton boys' varsity soccer team faced Nazareth, a team that included an immigrant teen from Guinea - one of the nations hardest hit by the ongoing 2014 Ebola outbreak. WPXI (Pittsburgh) reports that the West African teen player was ejected in the final minutes of the game for charging at a Northampton player.
The unnamed teen's guardian, Edward Bachert, told WPXI that the 16-year-old cried at the kitchen table at home after the soccer game, saying that he charged at players on the Northampton team because they were yelling racial slurs at him and chanting "Ebola!"
"He was upset on the field, he was upset when I saw him after the game, he was upset when he came home."Bachert says that he and his family took in the teen, who came from Guinea with his siblings three years ago. He's from a small town in Guinea - near the heart of the Ebola outbreak, which, according to this Inquisitr report, has claimed more than 4,000 lives as of this post. He still worries about his parents back home.
Nazareth players took to social media to support their teammate.
At a loss for words right now. The only good thing that's coming from this ignorance is awareness to a real issue #EndRacismToday, the Northampton School District confirmed that it had concluded its investigation, and that the soccer team's coaches have resigned over the incident. Further, Northampton Area School District Superintendent Joseph Kovalchik said that the soccer players themselves will be facing discipline.
— Joe Strzelecki (@strzelecki12) October 10, 2014
"The administration has conducted a thorough investigation throughout the entire day and appropriate discipline will be dispensed to any students who violated the code of conduct."Bachert says he's pleased with the outcome.
"I am glad Nazareth and Northampton took this incident very seriously and did a very thorough investigation. I think kids nowadays have to realize that their words can cause a lot of damage and you've got to think before you speak and be careful with what words you choose."Next week, according to The Morning Call, Nazareth will play in the district soccer tournament, and Bachert hopes that his son will play despite the pain and humiliation he suffered by the Northampton team's "Ebola!" chants.
[Image courtesy of: U.S. Sports Camps]