A Minneapolis North boys basketball player received a “profane, racist message” via social media after the Polars’ Class 2A state semifinal victory over Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta, according to a social media post from Polars coach Larry McKenzie.
The Minnesota State High School League released a statement, revealing that the message came from a Chokio-Alberta student.
“I wish I could say that such a comment is uncommon, but it is not,” McKenzie said in his statement. “These are types of incidents that our program must regularly deal with, and are becoming all too common throughout our state.”
McKenzie added it “breaks my heart” that his players must deal with such comments in the midst of such trying times in their lives. The Polars lost beloved teammate Deshaun Hill this season to a tragic shooting. They haven’t been able to attend school recently during the Minneapolis teachers’ strike. And now something like this arose in the roughly 16 hours Minneapolis North had to transition from its semifinal victory to its state final, which it lost Saturday to Annandale.
McKenzie called the social media message “an unfortunate and unexpected distraction for our program.” The MSHSL said upon learning of the message, it was in immediate contact with administrators from both schools. It said Morris Area and Chokio-Alberta “took immediate action” by having the student remove the post and “is holding the student accountable for his behavior.”
“We hope this young man will be held accountable for his message,” McKenzie said. “But we also hope that he and others can learn that such racially charged comments are hurtful and unacceptable under any circumstances.”