CHARLES CITY, Iowa- Jeremiah Chapman, the only Black player on the Charles City High team, told CNN that fans yelled “You should have been George Floyd” and “Get back to the fields” during a recent away game.
He said they started taunting him by calling him by his jersey number. Then he heard someone call him Colin, which he took to mean Colin Kaepernick.“I knew they knew my name because I have lots of friends from Waverly.” Chapman said he was later told by hecklers to go work in the field, meaning to the labor that enslaved Africans once performed.“That made me really mad because I have never worked in the field a day in my life.” Chapman’s mother posted a tweet saying “This is my boy! He is kind, sweet and talented.. if you can’t see beyond his skin color then sucks for you! And just and FYI…he has never worked on a field…his name is Jeremiah not Colin…he doesn’t care who you support politically..and he doesn’t remind you of George Floyd!
Charles City School District put out a release that said in part- During a recent away athletic contest one of our African-Amercian players endured several bigoted comments yelled from the crowd. This included, “Get back to the fields!” and “You’re only here because of George Floyd.” Sadly, this has been a pattern of behavior that our students of color have had to endure in many different places and contexts and is part of their daily experience.
This is unacceptable. As a place where we do what is best for all kids, We feel compelled to speak out and bring light to the situations that routinely happen to our kids. Our students must know we have their backs regardless of the circumstances and that we are fighting shoulder to shoulder with them to end oppression and to create the world that we know is possible. Our state and nation needs to know that our thoughts, words, and actions matter. We must do better. We must be better.
The other school also released a statement on FACEBOOK
Waverly-Shell Rock schools fully acknowledge that there was an incident at a recent baseball game that had one of our fans make extremely inappropriate, bigoted comments towards a Charles City player.
This behavior is unacceptable. 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.
Waverly-Shell Rock Administration
This is my boy! He is kind, sweet and talented.. if you can’t see beyond his skin color then sucks for you! And just and FYI…he has never worked on a field…his name is Jeremiah not Colin…he doesn’t care who you support politically..and he doesn’t remind you of George Floyd! pic.twitter.com/t5YCZKkS9c
— Keisha M. Cunnings (@Mrz_Keisha) July 1, 2020