Black High School Basketball Players In New York Face Racist Monkey Chants From Fans During A Game

A community in New York is outraged after Black high school basketball players were subjected to racist taunts from fans while shooting free throws during a game. The incident happened on Wednesday when Pearl River High School in Rockland County was hosting Nyack High School during a varsity basketball game, ABC 7 reports.

In a video posted to Twitter,  fans can be heard making monkey noises as Black Nyack players shot free throws.

Nyack Superintendent Eudes Budhai said the district and Board of Education stand firmly with the “student athletes in the wake of the racist and reprehensible behavior displayed by members of the Pearl River community.”

“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,” Budhai said. “We are making counseling available to any Nyack students in need of support.”

Nyack student-athlete Kameron Kukielczak said he heard the monkey noises at least three different times during the game.

“I was kind of surprised,” Kukielczak told ABC 7. “I wouldn’t think anyone would want to do that during the game, especially to young kids.”

A similar incident also took place last week when Pearl River hosted Suffern High School. Although the noises in that incident came from the student section, Superintendent Marco Pochintesta said those responsible have not yet been identified.

“We absolutely find this behavior deeply disturbing, harmful to all of us, and racist,” Pochintesta said, adding that the district has also seen two instances of intolerance to LGBTQ students this year.

Budhai said it’s especially disheartening to see racist behavior during Black History Month, “a time when we unite as a school community to celebrate the achievements of all Black Americans.”

“We thank our community for their outpouring of support and reaffirm our commitment and efforts to achieve excellence through racial equity here in Nyack Public Schools. We hope these efforts will inspire others in Rockland County to join us. In our diversity and our unity, we remain Nyack-Strong,” Budhai said.

In a letter he penned to the community, Pochintesta said racist behavior “will not be tolerated under any circumstances.”

“The students involved will be addressed through the District’s Code of Conduct,” he wrote. “The actions of these individuals do not in any way represent the values and expectations of our school district or our community.”

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