Muskego High School basketball fans are seen wearing “gangster” or “thug” attire during the March 3 game against Beloit Memorial High School. Parents of Beloit players say the fans not only dressed in an offensive manner, but made noises and comments with racial undertones.
MUSKEGO, Wis. — Several parents of Beloit basketball players went to the Muskego-Norway School District Board of Education meeting Monday to protest alleged racial activities during the March 3 game between Beloit and Muskego.
Tanya Karl said she and several other Beloit residents displayed signs outside the Bay Lane Elementary School where the school board was meeting and then went inside for the meeting. She said when one of the parents asked a question during the public comment period of the meeting, the school board members picked up their things and left without responding.
“We just asked what they were going to do to prevent this type of activity in the future, and how they could allow this to happen,” Karl said.
During the WIAA Division 1 Regional Semifinals game in Muskego on March 3, student fans from Muskego wore “gangster” or “thug” attire which included black tank top shirts, pajama pants and ski masks. Beloit Memorial High School basketball players took video images and photos of racial slurs written in the dust on top of lockers as well as swastikas in the visiting team locker room.
The majority of the players on the Beloit team are Black and the Muskego team seemed to be made up of all White players.
Muskego fans also flashed cell phone flashlights at Beloit players, used noisemakers such as recorder flutes and yelled taunts at players, according to parents of players who were at the game. These activities are against WIAA rules.
On Monday, about 15 people from Beloit attended the Muskego school board meeting. The group members were carrying signs and standing outside the school at the start of the evening, but they later went inside to address the school board.
Jessica Scott, who was one of the Beloit residents who was at the meeting, said she noticed there were about a dozen police officers in the meeting room.
“I have attended a lot of school board meetings in many school districts, but I never saw that many police officers at a school board meeting,” Scott said. “There definitely were not that many police officers at the game on March 3.”
Scott said there were several other people who she assumed were from Muskego and surrounding communities, who were supporting the Beloit group. She said when one of the people asked the board members if they were going to address the concerns of the people who came to the Muskego meeting, the board left the meeting room.
“No one was being disrespectful,” Scott said.
Scott said she hoped that by bringing attention to the activity at the game there may be lessons learned. She said the Beloit students were hurt by the incident.
“I hope through their hurt, something good will come from this,” Scott said.
Karl said Beloit parents plan to continue to seek answers to ensure the safety and well being of Beloit students.