Tuesday night’s North Carolina boys basketball quarterfinal playoff game between Ardrey Kell High School (Charlotte, N.C.) and West Charlotte (N.C.) High School was already sure to be tense. Now those tensions could even boil over after an Ardrey Kell player was suspended from the game for using a racial slur in a Snapchat post.
As reported by North Carolina CBS affiliate WBTV and the Charlotte Observer, an undisclosed Ardrey Kell player used an unspecified racial epithet in a Snapchat post over the weekend when discussing his team’s forthcoming game against West Charlotte. While the post was erased from Snapchat, as most are, it was screen captured by a number of recipients, who then posted it to other social media sites.
That eventually landed the post at the door of the player’s coach and administration, who were quick to suspend him from the quarterfinal game; he will neither play nor be allowed in the gym hosting the event.
“A very swift and appropriate decision was reached to immediately suspend the player indefinitely,” Ardrey Kell coach Mike Craft told the Observer. “The player will not be with the team or at the game (Tuesday). The individual comments that were made are not representative of the values of our program, the AK school community, or the expectations we have of our student-athletes. No further comment at this time until our administration and athletic department has an opportunity to look into the situation further.”
For their part, the teen’s family also acted quickly in an attempt to atone for the player’s actions, authoring a letter they provided to the Observer for wider dissemination.
“As a family, we are devastated and so is (the player). While we stand by our son, and love him deeply, we do recognize the wrong and hurt caused by careless words. We do not believe his words represent who he is as a person, his overall character and his heart towards others. Being part of a diverse community is significant to our values as a family, but it is clear from today, that there are more conversations to be had as today’s words don’t reflect the tone of our home nor (the) true heart of our son.
“(The player) is ashamed and deeply sorrowful for his word choice. He has met with his teammates, coaches, and principal and personally apologized. And for the many who (he) will never get to speak to regarding today, he is sorry. There is no excuse for words like this. (He) is firmly aware of that and holds himself accountable for his careless action. We as a family, stand by his suspension, and believe firmly that (the player), our family, and prayerfully, our entire community will grow from this.”
There is room for growth, and also reason for West Charlotte parents and players to seethe. Whether that provides additional motivation heading into Tuesday night’s quarterfinal between the teams remains to be seen.