Louis Park and Robinsdale School officials said their teams will not play New Prague in athletics after their players faced racist criticism in recent games against the Southern Metro School District.
“I will not tolerate or allow our students to experience any racism while participating in athletics against New Prague High School,” Andrew Ewald, athletic director at St.
Ewald said the decision to suspend competitions against New Prague came after consulting many “stakeholders and leaders in St. Louis Park, most importantly our students.” St. Louis Park officials will also remove the New Prague banner hanging in the high school gymnasium.
Ewald told Skogerboe that St. Louis Park would reconsider whether to play with New Prague at the end of the 2022 season. Ewald said that racial disparagement from hockey players at St. Louis Park was not an isolated incident, referring to similar reports from other schools.
On the same day as the boys’ hockey incident, the girls’ basketball team at Robbinsdale Cooper High School reported racial taunts, including New Prague fans making animal noises, The New Prague Times reports.
That region also canceled athletic competitions with New Prague.
Robbinsdale Director David Engstrom said: in the current situation That incident “caused shock to the Cooper High School girls’ basketball team and the school community as a whole.”
“We are committed to protecting our students and staff, and will take a stand against racism no matter the cost, and as a result, Robbinsdale area schools, including Cooper High School, will not compete in any sporting events hosted in New Prague for the foreseeable future.”
Engstrom also said that the Minnesota High School Association “has a responsibility to take seriously the experience of our students and coaching staff at New Prague High School.”
The association did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
Ewald, St. Louis Park’s athletic director, said in his letter that he had previously had conversations with Skogerboe about racist behavior during competitions with New Prague teams.
In his letter, Ewald recalled a conversation that occurred when the Trojans were applying to participate in the Metro West Conference. At the time, Ewald said he told Skogerboe, “I am not going to enable your community and your students to spend teachable moments at the expense of our students.”
New Prague manager Tim Dietburner confirmed in a statement that the incident occurred at a hockey match and said it was “dealt with immediately” but did not provide details.
“We sincerely apologize for this incident and do not make excuses for the behavior,” Dietburner wrote. “We are taking steps to work with athletes, students, staff and coaches so that these types of incidents do not occur in the future.”
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