Wednesday, 21 Oct 2020

Racist says 'You should have been George Floyd' to only black boy in sports team

Racist sports fans yelled ‘You should have been George Floyd’ at a 17 year-old who is his school’s only black baseball team member. Jeremiah Chapman was also told to ‘Get back to the fields’ during the June 27 game at Waverly-Shell Rock High in Iowa.

Jeremiah, who plays for Charles City High School, said the taunts began by someone shouting ‘Colin.’ He took that as a reference to black NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who was the first sportsman to take the knee during the national anthem.

The crowd who racially abused Jeremiah were also heard shouting ‘Trump 2020’ in a reference to the upcoming presidential election. He told CNN: ‘I try my hardest to have everyone like me because that’s just my personality.

‘And it’s just hard seeing that no matter how hard I try, people can’t accept me because of my skin color.’ Jeremiah had been looking forward to getting back to team sports after the coronavirus pandemic, and was distraught to have his first game ruined.

The teenager’s mother Keisha Cunnings said she was distraught, but also relieved that her son has now directly experienced the evil of racism. Cunnings explained: ‘I was angry because as a parent, this is the one fear I have for him.

‘The other part of me was kind of relieved that it did happen because it opened Jeremiah’s eyes to not be so naive and colorblind and ignorant to the fact that things like this still happen.’

Cunnings added: ‘I feel like they were being kids and just trying to say whatever they could say to throw him (Jeremiah) off his game and unfortunately they took it to race.’

After the abuse, the umpire asked Jeremiah if he’d like to pause the game, but the teen opted to play on so as not to let his teammates down. Both schools have yet to identify the person or people behind the racist chants.

A spokesman for Waverly-Shell Rock Community School High apologized over the slur, saying: ‘We make no excuses, because there are none.

‘We do, however, wish to make a sincere apology to the Charles City school district and community and, in particular, the young man towards whom these comments were directed.

‘We can’t undo what’s been done. But we are using this as a learning experience for the responsible party and, we hope, for many others in our schools and communities.’

Floyd was killed by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin on May 25. His death has sparked ongoing anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests across the United States.

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