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Catholic High School Boys Shout Racial, Homophobic Slurs at Opposing Team

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The hateful slurs went on until nearly the third quarter of the basketball game before referees shut it down. 

A high school basketball game between Cincinnati-area schools was called off mid-play this week when students from the all-boys Catholic Elder High hurled racial and homophobic epithets at the players on the opposing team from St. Xavier, according to local TV station WLWT.

The schools have been engaged in a years-long athletic rivalry, but the disgusting chants issued from the bleachers on the Elder High side aimed at an Asian student who was repeatedly called the name of a Chinese restaurant chain and a black student who was called a "crack addict" and on "welfare" went on for some time before the game was halted in the third quarter.

"I was sickened, just sickened," said Susan Stockman, the mother of one of the recipients of the abuse. "They were relentless. It went as far as, 'Asian, open your eyes. Go play chess, PF Chang's.'"

The racist epithets were met by chants from those on the St. Xavier side shouting, "You are racist." To counter that, Elder students shouted a homophobic slur, which was not explicitly quoted in the news reports, but in a short video shot that night it seems the Elder side screamed back, "You are faggots."

The mother of the black student who was targeted, Mina Jefferson, told WCPO in Cincinnati that Elder students chanted the homophobic slur repeatedly until St. Xavier's coaches stepped in and spoke with the referees.

"It's surreal," Jefferson said. "I mean, you hear it and you assume someone's going to act swiftly, seize the moment and let that be the lesson -- and that didn't occur. So then you're dealing with just an absence, a failure of leadership."

But Elder principal Kurt Ruffing blamed the noise in the gymnasium for why it took so long to shut down the insults and subsequently the game.

"I am not by any means making excuses for what our students said, but when our administrators realized what they were saying then they took action," Ruffing told WCPO.

Administrators at Elder held an assembly the following day to address the behavior. They also implemented new rules for call-and-response chants during athletic events. Furthermore, several Elder students were taken to St. Xavier to apologize.

"What we did was wrong and we will not do it again," Ruffing said of his students' actions at the game.

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Tracy E. Gilchrist

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.
Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.