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Black Star Athlete Accused By White Coach Of Gaining Speed By ‘Running From Police’

A Black star athlete in New York withdrew from his high school after an administrator at Iona Preparatory School allegedly made racist remarks against him on the track. The incident occurred after 16-year-old Tony Humphrey, a junior who had already committed to playing baseball
at Boston College, was told he was fast from “running from cops.”

While speaking to WPIX-TV, Humphrey recalled the assistant athletic director approaching him and asking why he was training in track during his offseason. “He comes up to me and says, ‘I thought you were already fast as it is.’ And I said ‘Oh, I am decently fast,’ and he says, ‘Oh, how did you get so fast?’ He goes, ‘Running from the cops?’ It just came out like that,” Humphrey described. According to Humphrey, the comment was made by assistant athletic director Bernard Mahoney. The school hasn’t released a name for the accused staff member, but administrators have announced he has resigned. A statement by Brother Thomas R. Leto, president of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers, which run the high school, condemned the alleged incident as a “form of behavior Iona Preparatory will not tolerate for any of its students.” “One of the most important aspects of our school community – the acceptance and respect of every student – has been infringed upon,” Leto said. “On behalf of the administration and staff, I am deeply sorry to this student and those most offended and negatively impacted.”

Humphrey shared this incident was not the first time he had encountered racism at Iona Prep.

“There were other instances of racism during my freshman year,” explained Humphrey, adding that the school failed to take action after reporting the incident to the dean and higher-ups.

“I took it up with the dean, I took it up with the higher-ups, and nothing happened to the other student,” he said.

Following Humphrey’s mother learning of the coach’s remarks, the star athlete decided to take his talents elsewhere, transferring from Iona Prep in New Rochelle to a public school near his residence in Cortland.

“I decided to leave because of my current situation, as I’m already committed. I’m already going to [college],” Humphrey said. “I don’t feel like I have to stay at a program where they’re going to look at me different or feel uncomfortable at a place I have to go to Monday through Friday.”

Students at the New Rochelle school also walked out of class to support Humphrey after learning about the incident.

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