Pa. soccer coaches resign after players taunt opponent with ’Ebloa’ chant

October 15, 2014 / CoachingSoccer
Two Pennsylvania high school soccer coaches have resigned following an incident where players from their team taunted a West African opponent with “Ebola” chants during a match.

According to the Allentown Morning Call, the Northampton High School coaches submitted their resignations Tuesday and student-athletes could still face discipline over the incident.

From the article:

Edward Bachert, custodian for the 16-year-old West African soccer player, said the teen told him he was peppered with Ebola comments at last Thursday’s game at Nazareth. Other Nazareth players told Bachert their opponents directed racial remarks at the teen as well, said Bachert, who was at the game but out of earshot.

The teen came to America with siblings about three years ago and is from a small town in Guinea, ground zero of the Ebola outbreak, Bachert said. Bachert’s family took in the teen two years ago, but he constantly worries about the health of his parents, who still live in their home village.

Distressed by the alleged Ebola remarks, the teen charged a Northampton player during the game’s waning minutes and was ejected, Bachert said. He cried at the kitchen table when he got home.

Athletes found to be involved should, at the very least, be served a lengthy suspension from the team and be forced to complete a course on sportsmanship. You don’t need a code of conduct to tell you there is zero tolerance for racist or insensitive taunts.

The article doesn’t make clear how the coaches were involved or whether they condoned the behavior, but perhaps that’s something that could come out through an open records request through the school district (resignation letters are public documents). Neither coach was a teacher in the district, according to the article.

This is a terrible story, but it’s comforting to know the teen’s teammates at Nazareth High School have rallied in support of him. The team is selling $2 wristbands that say “#ENDRACISM.”

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