A canceled high school basketball game in North Carolina has courted controversy based on the description of the atmosphere at the game.
The game in question was Wheatmore (N.C.) at Parkland (N.C.) on Saturday. The game was called with 7:15 remaining in the second quarter with Parkland leading 17-5. That much is agreed upon. Everything else is much more controversial.
Before we go farther, judge what really happened for yourself. Wheatmore is playing in red, while Parkland is wearing white:
After forfeiting the game, Wheatmore’s acting coach, Brandon Thalasinos, told the Winston-Salem Journal that Parkland was an “unsafe environment” and that his junior Austin Biggs was attacked.
Those claims were taken very seriously, but were met with extreme disagreement by Parkland officials, who claim that they represent a disturbing example of racial prejudice against Parkland, which is a majority African-American team. Now a spokesperson with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is telling all who will listen that they stand behind how Parkland officials behaved.
“After a thorough look at videos of the game and interviews with coaches, school officials, game officials, and security present at the game, we are confident Parkland High School administration and game officials handled the situation properly,” a statement from Winston-Salem/Forsyth County spokesperson Brent Campbell said. “A limited number of fans who approached the court were ejected from the game immediately.
“We believe the environment was safe and that all WS/FCS athletes followed proper protocol.”
Parkland coach Travis Holcomb-Faye was more strident about his response to the account.
“I would say that report was totally inaccurate,” Holcomb-Faye told the Journal. “It painted our cheerleaders and our fans and our players and our coaches in such a dark, negative light.
“The past few days, I’ve just been so sick about it.”