An investigation has begun in Texas after a spectator at a high school girls’ basketball game made what sounded like monkey noises towards a Black player shooting free throws on Friday.
East Central High School senior Asia Prudhomme was shooting a free throw against Marble Falls High School in a tournament they hosted over the weekend when the noises could be heard from the stands.
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The noises went on during her pre-shot routine until she made the shot.
“This is sad, heartbreaking and uncalled for,” Prudhomme tweeted on Saturday afternoon. “Can’t even play basketball without ignorance and racism in the stands. This really broke my heart, my coaches and teammates… please share this out and help us punish those involved.”
Pudhomme said she did not hear the noises during her free throw, but was made aware afterwards.
“I wasn’t really paying attention because I was always taught to ignore the students, focus on the free throw,” Prudhomme told WFAA.
The Marble Falls Independent School District told WFAA that no one was ejected from the game, and EC athletic director Suzette Arriola said there were at least three instances of such noises being made.
“Marble Falls School District has an unyielding commitment to love every child and inspire them to achieve their fullest potential, and this applies to children outside of our school district as well. We will continue to work with administration at East Central High to fully investigate and hold students accountable for their actions,” the district said in a statement on Monday. “Marble Falls ISD does not condone any form of discrimination, and we would like students at East Central to know they have our full support.”
Marble Falls ISD principal Damon Adams said they are investigating “one or more students” and “are reviewing video footage and will interview students and trons who attended the game to ensure a thorough investigation.”
“Marble Falls High School takes these allegations seriously and will hold students accountable for any behaviors that violate our expectations,” he added in a statement over the weekend.
“As campus principle, I regret that any player or guest in attendance at our tournament experienced anything from our student body that made them feel uncomfortable or devalued. I am saddened that the behaviors of a very small number of students could tarnish the impression that others have of the incredible group of kids who make up our student body.”
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“On Friday afternoon our team went through a very difficult game at a tournament. Unfortunately one of our athletes had to go through a racial situation that was very hurtful and unacceptable. Our athletes, coaching staff & rents are not ok with what happened!” the team said in a statement on Facebook. “We appreciate the athletic office and administration from both schools who are working to handle this situation. We are a strong family & we have each others [sic] back! None of these actions will change the memories we made this weekend overall. Our team grew even more like a family on this trip!”
“This situation was hard. Speaking to my girls about this was hard,” head coach Vanessa Villareal tweeted on Sunday. “Our weekend was not ruined by this. Our kids grew & I wish I could show what our girls did on the bus once we discussed it. Our girls are amazing people who love each other so much! I love them for that!
Marble Falls did not play in their scheduled game the next day “due to unforeseen circumstances.”