Black high school baseball player says fans shouted “You should have been George Floyd” and “Go back to the fields”

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The school district did not name the player. Jeremiah Chapman, who calls himself the only black player on the Charles City High team, told CNN that the fans had shouted “You should have been George Floyd” and “Go back to the fields”.

Chapman said he was even called “Colin” at one point, which he said referred to Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback widely known for kneeling during the anthem national in order to protest police brutality.

Iowa resumed high school sports in June, and Chapman told CNN that he was pleased to return to a sense of normalcy after the coronavirus pandemic ended his junior year. But after hearing several discouraging comments during Saturday’s game, he said he was angry and injured.

“I try my best to have everyone like me because it’s just my personality,” said Chapman. “And it’s just hard to see that no matter how hard I try, people can’t accept me because of my skin color. “Chapman’s mother Keisha Cunnings told CNN that she was not at the game, but was inundated with mixed emotions when her son called to tell her what had happened.

“I was angry because as a parent, this is the only fear I have for him,” she said. “The other part of me was a little relieved that it happened because it opened Jeremiah’s eyes so that he was not as naive and color blind and ignoring the fact that things like that are still happening. ”

Cunnings said she did not believe the people responsible for the comments were trying to be racist.

“I have the impression that they were kids and were just trying to say everything they could say to throw him (Jeremiah) out of his game and unfortunately they took him into the race”, he said. she declared.

It is unclear who made the comments.

The Charles City and Waverly-Shell Rock school districts both qualified comments from the forums as unacceptable.

Other players of color have come forward in the past with similar stories of racial comments and actions while playing road games, Charles City community school district director Mike Fisher told CNN.

The administrators tried to resolve some of the incidents by sending staff with university teams to outside events, said Fisher.

“However, we realized that even this work was a bandage,” he said. “We want to see systemic change and highlight this disgusting behavior that continues. We wanted to put the conversation first and demand that we, as a society, do better. We want to make sure that all of our color students know that we have our backs in private and in public. ”

Following some comments, the referee asked Chapman if he wanted to interrupt the game, but Chapman said no because he did not want to drop his teammates.

“This right there really meant a lot to me,” he said. “I didn’t expect him (the referee) to care so much, but he was really ready for action. ”

The Waverly-Shell Rock Community School District apologized in a Facebook message for the behavior.

“We make no excuses because there are none,” said the Waverly-Shell Rock community school district post. “However, we wish to sincerely apologize to the school district and the community of Charles City and, in particular, to the young man for whom these comments were intended. ”

“We cannot undo what has been done. But we use this as a learning experience for the responsible party and, we hope, for many others in our schools and communities. “

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