The Jordan (Minn.) High School boys basketball program was thrown into controversy when a group of its students showed up in the stands with a Trump 2020 campaign flag for a game against Minneapolis (Minn.) Roosevelt High School, a predominantly black school.
Now, the aftermath of that incident has spilled over into Jordan’s season, with the team canceling a schedule Martin Luther King Day showcase game because the team’s presence would “detract from the athletes.”
Here’s how the official statement from the Jordan Public School District explained the decision, via Twin Cities ABC affiliate KSTP:
“The Jordan School District was scheduled to participate in the MLK Showcase event on Monday, January 21st. This is a wonderful athletic competition that showcases the skills of athletes from across the state. Given recent events, we believe the participation of our team in the event will detract from the hard work of the athletes and the upbeat focus of the MLK Showcase. After discussion with the MLK Showcase event coordinator, a decision has been made to pull out of the MLK Showcase game on Monday, January 21st. We do not want our presence at the event to detract from the athletes. We will continue to work with the Minneapolis School District to work cooperatively to move forward in a positive direction.”
Meanwhile, the Roosevelt school district has said it wishes it would have had the opportunity to speak with the Jordan players about, “what that banner represents to us here at Roosevelt,” noting that the team also remains in the locker room during the national anthem in solidarity with prior athletic protests to highlight, “a history of oppression for people of color in the U.S.”
Jordan will return to action Tuesday regardless, facing off against Le Sueur-Henderson (Minn.) High School. The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m.