When Nafisaria Mathews picked her daughter up after her basketball game Tuesday night, her daughter said the game was “terrible.”
Mathews said her daughter, a freshman at De La Salle North Catholic High School in Portland, told her that people at their game against Clatskanie Middle/High School were being racist and using the n-word.
“I had never heard her have that type of experience before,” Mathews said. “It was just surprising to me, I thought, ‘Wow, I thought you were just going to play basketball.’”
The next morning, Mathews saw a social media post from someone affiliated with her daughter’s basketball team, talking about the game in more detail.
It was the same post Oregon School Activities Association Executive Director Peter Weber saw Wednesday morning. The post said students were hurt after being called racist names by a few others on the opposing team from Clatskanie Middle/High School.
“In terms of the allegations that we’ve heard are racial slurs during the contest,” Weber said.
Oscar Leong, De La Salle North Catholic president, called the events “extremely disappointing.”
“The use of racial slurs coupled with other inappropriate actions towards our girls basketball team, which includes our players and coaching staff, will not be tolerated,” Leong wrote in a statement shared with OPB.
“Respect for All Persons is a core Lasallian principle that guides our resilient school community. Respect and dignity was not shown to our young athletes and coaching staff.”
Clatskanie Middle/High School athletic director and dean of students Ryan Tompkins issued a press release Wednesday in response to the events.
“We are deeply troubled as a school community at the severity of the accusations, and are committed to resolving the issue and promoting the continued causes of equality in our society,” Tompkins wrote.
From here, Weber said the schools will start with their own investigations.
“Based on what comes out of that, we’ll determine if there’s further investigating that we need to be doing,” Weber said.
OSAA is also investigating allegations of racial slurs during a football game last month between La Grande and Gladstone high schools.
Weber said it’s important that OSAA be made aware of events like these.
“We don’t want those types of things to take place, but if they do, we want to make sure that they’re being addressed, and...the behaviors are being interrupted,” Weber said.
After sharing the post on social media, Mathews said she heard from others saying similar things happened to them years ago.
“I would just like for there to be some real time put into what has been happening,” Mathews said. “...Why is that something that has happened for years and years and no one has done anything?”