A group of students from Pittsford Southerland High School in New York embarrassed themselves during a basketball game last Friday night when they taunted an opposing player from Brighton High School who appeared to be of Indian decent. The students chanted “We Want Slurpees” while the opponent was at the free throw line, which is a reference to Indian-Americans owning 7-Eleven stores.
According to WROC 8, the Pittsford student who was leading the chant was removed from the game. The superintendents from both school regions released a joint statement on Monday regarding the incident.
“We were very disappointed to learn of this incident,” Brighton’s Kevin McGowan and Pittsford’s Mike Pero said. “We have been working with our colleagues in both districts throughout the weekend to address intolerant and unacceptable fan behavior. That work continues today. The students involved took full responsibility for their behavior, and attempts are being made to right this wrong between the students and to address the long- term learning that can arise from the disappointing behaviors of a few.”
The students who were responsible for the chant could face further disciplinary action from the school. The player who was taunted declined to comment.
Unfortunately, we see this type of stuff happen at all levels of sports. Last year, the Washington student section passed out flyers that encouraged students to taunt an opponent over his Iranian background. It’s just as uncalled for in high school as it is in college.