A Pennsylvania girls basketball team is in hot water after it was caught on camera using racial slurs on its team bus, leading to discipline for a number of players, including suspensions for a number of the team’s stars.
As reported by Philadelphia Fox affiliate WTXF, the girls basketball team from Pope John Paul II, of Royersford, Penn. was caught on camera using racial slurs in the process of performing a popular rap song that includes profanities and the aforementioned racist language on the team bus.
The video circulated across social media and drew a response from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which decided the language on the video violated the archdiocese’s policy of acceptable use of technology.
As a result of that decision, each player involved in the video as well as the team’s coach were forced to serve a one-game suspension, ruling each out for the team’s playoff semifinal.
PaPrepLive reported that the song that sparked the suspensions was “Kanga” by Tekashi 6ix9ine.
“The matter took place on the bus and involved team members singing a song containing lyrics that are highly offensive and featuring content that runs counter to the moral teaching and ideals of the school community,” Archdiocese of Philadelphia Chief Communications Officer Ken Gavin told PaPrepLive. “Team members filmed the objectionable activity and (placed) it on social media, which represents a violation of the Acceptable Use of Technology policy.
“The actions of the team and the nature of their behavior is deeply concerning and contrary to the expectations and ideals to which PJP students are held,” stated Gavin. “This disciplinary action holds the team accountable while individual student disciplinary actions may be taken after the school has completed its review and assessed further potential Student Handbook violations.”
With a number of the team’s standouts suspended during the Pioneer Athletic Conference Final 6 semifinals, Spring-Ford rolled past Pope John Paul by a score of 71-21.
While the conduct that led to the suspensions are problematic, the more concerning factor may be the trend that they represent; as reported by both WTXF and PaPrepLive, the suspensions mark the second-consecutive season that Pope John Paul II players have been disciplined for a video on social media; in 2017, a separate isolated incident occurred off campus that was not related to the athletic program. That matter was swiftly addressed by school administration at the time, and the player was disciplined.