A high school basketball coach of a predominantly black school has questioned the Trump campaign banner displayed by fans of an opposing team.
As reported by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Roosevelt High School (Minneapolis) was visiting Jordan (Minn.) High School on Monday when coach Mike Walker noticed a group of white fans sitting in the front row of the stands holding a “Trump 2020” campaign banner while wearing all red, white and blue clothing.
Walker posted a photo he took of the students and the banner to Facebook with his personal commentary about why he felt it was inappropriate. The photo has been removed from the Facebook page.
The answer to the coach’s question apparently arrived in the comments to his post; a woman named Bridget Kahn commented on the coach’s Facebook post that the Trump banner was hers and was intended as part of a, “long-planned USA blackout theme night.” She expounded on those circumstances later with the Star-Tribune:
Kahn told the Star Tribune later that her son and others took two of the flags with them to the game and “left with them wrapped around them like capes. I didn’t see anything wrong with that.”
She said this was nothing more than young people wearing “a bunch of red, white and blue, supporting their president. They don’t have a racist bone in their body.”
Whether or not the flags/banners were intended to be racist is not, in and of itself, a justification for bringing them into a gym when a predominantly black high school team is visiting. And while Walker’s opposition to it would have been enough to justify keeping the banners away from public ground in the future, his sentiment got additional support from other Twin Cities public school coaches.
“You got freedom of speech, but would that remotely be appropriate?” Crystal Flint, the Cretin-Derham Hall girls basketball coach in St. Paul told the Star-Tribune. “No, it would not.
“Why is politics being represented at sports? Is there an intimidation factor? … I think it’s divisive in this racial climate that we have.”