Texas high school lacrosse rivalry leads to racist comment, soul searching by community

A Dallas-area high school lacrosse game led to a nasty racist comment on social media, which has in turn sparked soul searching from among a larger community.

As reported by the Dallas Morning News and Dallas NBC affiliate KXAS, a Highland Park High School (Dallas) student has issued an apology to an opponent from Episcopal School of Dallas (ESD) after he told the ESD player he should, “pick my cotton,” because he is African American.

“It was shocking. It was hurtful, it was like, I don’t know where it came from because I didn’t know the kid,” Gabriel Letcher, the ESD sophomore who was the target of the comments, told KXAS.

Interestingly, the student who offered up the racist comment on an Instagram post is not a member of the Highland Park lacrosse team. That obviously didn’t stop him from commenting on a post that showed Lechter in action.

And while the Highland Park student essentially professed ignorance to the racist connotation of the phrase “pick my cotton,” Lechter said the incident had been instructive for him.

“For someone to make a comment like that about you, even though they’ve never interacted with you, it kind of hurt,” Lechter told the Morning News. “You’re taught that everyone is equal, that it’s a nice world, and you start to believe it after a long period of time. So for it to just hit you in the face like that was just shocking.

“I know other ESD students in the past have gotten taunts like that. It’s something that consistently happens to black lacrosse players. It’s been happening every year for three or four years.”

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