Iowa Students Apologize for Wearing Red, White and Blue to Basketball Game
Say attire was not meant to offend rival school's students.
Students at an Iowa high school have apologized to a neighboring school for wearing red, white and blue to a recent basketball game.
The Valley High School students' USA-themed attire was seen as offensive because some of the rival school's players were from refugee families.
"Any normal person, any educated person can look at that and think what the hell are these kids thinking," said Des Moines North High School assistant coach Morgan Wheat.
The students, however, argued that themed attire was worn at previous games and it was not meant to make a statement toward the rival side.
Student leaders at Valley sent a letter of apology to Des Moines North High last week:
It has been brought to our attention that the decision by the Valley High School student section to wear U.S.A. apparel at our game last night was offensive to members of your community and fan base. We are deeply sorry if we have offended anyone in any way. We have traditionally dressed in such a fashion for great games such as the one last night. Everyone here at Valley has immense respect not only for your team and players but for your community as a whole. Please know that our intent was in no way to offend or demean—just to support our own team in a way we have done before.
The Des Moines North coach Chad Ryan said he didn't think it was fair to assume that the Valley students were trying to make a political statement toward his players.
"I don't want to judge those young people not knowing their motives. ... We're proud of our diversity at North High School -- not only on our basketball team, but our population," said Ryan.
Similar stories surfaced last year at high school football games. In Oklahoma, students at a Tulsa high school were blocked from bringing flags and banners on "USA Night."
In South Carolina, a high school banned the American flag in the stands, claiming it had been used in the past to taunt opposing teams with Hispanic players.
Read more on the story, here.