Fan behavior has garnered plenty of attention over the last couple of weeks with the NBA playoffs in full swing. Now, the kind of concerning behavior that has left fans banned for life from arenas is trickling down to the high school ranks.
According to komonews.com, the South Central Athletic Conference voted to not allow postseason competition for the boys and girls basketball teams of Connell High School in Washington after racist fan behavior. In addition to Connell’s postseason ban, no fans, including parents or students, will be allowed at any league events until the end of the season on June 12.
“We strive to create a competitive, yet positive, atmosphere where everyone feels welcome,” the SCAC said, per release. “The SCAC encourages and promotes good sportsmanship by student-athletes, coaches, parents and spectators.”
Connell’s postseason ban stems from a May 22 incident in which racist language and gestures toward Zillah High School players were caught on video.
“I want to take this time to apologize for the racist actions that transpired while I was in charge of the girls basketball game on May 22, 2021,” Connell athletic director Stephen Pyeatt said in a Facebook apology to the Zillah community. “I know that what happened has caused an immense amount of pain to you as a player, coach, fan, family member, and community member, and I am deeply sorry. … You did not deserve this in any way, and no one should ever have to be subjected to what happened.”