St. Louis Park HS will stop competing with New Prague HS in all sports after racist incident
Prague’s new management apologizes and promises to act after two different racist incidents involving two different schools and sports.
ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. — After two different allegations of racist behavior involving New Prague High School sports, St. Louis Park High School is done playing games.
St. Louis Park High School Athletic Director Andrew Ewald sent a letter to New Prague High School Athletic Director Brad Skogerboe informing them that they will no longer be competing in any sport following a racist incident at men’s hockey game on February 22. 15. During the match, New Prague players allegedly called a St. Louis Park player a monkey and used other racist references.
“After extensive processing and conversations with our stakeholders and leaders, especially our students, I inform you that I have made the decision that St. Louis Park High School will not be in direct competition with New Prague High School following of the racist experience our boys hockey program was submitted to New Prague on Tuesday, February 15, 2022. My decision was also influenced by the other incidents of racism involving New Prague High School athletics over the past month involving other conference schools.
This decision not to compete will last at least until the Spring 2022 season and is open thereafter, and will continue until the harm caused is repaired and we are assured that one of our stakeholders, especially our students, will not. being racialized by any New Prague actor in the future. We also plan to remove the New Prague banner from our Gym until the damage is repaired and insurance is to our liking.
Know that I do not take this decision lightly. As I said when New Prague High School applied to the Metro West Conference, “I will not support your community and your students having teachable moments at the expense of our students.” Therefore, I will not tolerate or allow our students to experience any racism by participating in athletic competitions against New Prague High School.”
After receiving the letter, New Prague Superintendent Tim Dittberner responded to KARE 11 with the following statement:
“St. Louis Park School has made the decision not to compete with schools in the New Prague area for the remainder of this school year due to a racial incident at the men’s hockey game a week ago. We do not tolerate racist or hateful speech by students or sports players. We know the harm this causes. The incident was dealt with immediately. We sincerely apologize for this incident and make no apologies for the behavior. We are taking steps to work with our athletes, student body, staff, and coaches to ensure that these types of incidents do not occur in the future.We will share more specific information about these steps at a later date.
New Prague is not content to respond to the incident in Saint-Louis Park. During a women’s basketball game in New Prague, which also took place on February 15, a coach of the Cooper High School women’s basketball team reported that black female players were targeted by sounds of monkey and other taunts from people in the stands of New Prague High School. .
Anthony Williams, who oversees athletics for Cooper High School and the entire Robbinsdale School District, spoke to KARE 11 reporter Kent Erdahl about the district’s own response to the incident and how it supports the players concerned.
Kent Erdahl“I just wanted to start by asking, how are those student-athletes doing?”
Anthony Williams“They are fine. Last week was a bit of a different story. After the incident, our coaches took the time to meet with the young girls and also the students in the building throughout the day, to really focus on healing, giving them a space to express themselves. Our community has really rallied around the students. Members of the community contacted us and showed their support and solidarity on social media, then we organized a match on Friday. Our girls played against Orono on Friday and they showed solidarity. Everyone wore orange to support the Cooper Hawks girls and Orono supported that and family members came out and community members came out and supported the girls.”
Erdahl“Today we saw the Sporting Director of St. Louis Park take another step, saying they won’t be competing with New Prague anytime soon. Is that something that was discussed in Robbinsdale?”
williams“At this time we know that New Prague has an ongoing investigation into the incident with Robbinsdale and we are waiting to see how New Prague somehow addresses our concerns and we are still determining what our next steps will be. I cannot not say what New Prague should do. It seems like, going forward, you always want to talk about the consequences of specific actions, but I really think it’s time for everyone to pause and really think about what we say and how we treat each other, especially our younger ones in society.”
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