Players for the Mallard Creek High School volleyball team in North Carolina came forward with complaints that fans at opposing Lake Norman High School shouted racist and sexual comments at them during a game.
While the comments and chants can no longer be heard on the Hudl highlight video that originally captured them, Mallard Creek parents confirmed that they included overly sexual references to individual players, singing the national anthem at the team’s Hispanic-American players in an attempt to make them uncomfortable, and generally “dehumanized” the teens during a very competitive match.
“We were sexualized,” Mallard Creek volleyball player Payton James told Carolina news network WSOC. “We were picked out individually by our race.”
Added teammate Sydney McGregor:
“(Lake Norman fans were) Not cheering for their team but cheering to dehumanize us.”
Officials for the two districts both confirmed the incident took place as reported by the Mallard Creek parents. And while Iredell-Statesville Schools Superintendent Brady Johnson issues a statement that included an apology to the Mallard Creek players and entire volleyball program, parents of the Mallard Creek players say it falls short of what the school’s volleyball community deserves.
“At Mallard Creek, we took action to ensure our girls never experience this moving forward,” Raki McGregor, whose daughter plays for Mallard Creek, told WSOC. “It had everything to do with how they were treated and disrespected.
“We appreciate the response they provided. We think it falls short.”