A heartening story from the heartland
April 1, 2015 9:18 PM   Subscribe

 
I understand why they're playing that as heartwarming, but I'm really stunned that there were apparently no consequences for the opposing team. How is that not criminal conduct, not to mention a violation of a million anti-bullying rules? If you're threatening an opposing team so seriously that they require a police escort for the rest of the tournament, I think you should be removed from the tournament and then face appropriate consequences, which at the very least should include the team not being allowed to participate in interscholastic play for a year or two.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:36 AM on April 2, 2015 [35 favorites]


Like ArbitraryAndCapricious, my heart would be more warmed if the other team had suffered consequences for their unsportsmanlike and criminal behavior.
posted by not that girl at 4:27 AM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Unbelievable that the bigots weren't DQ'd on the spot. Threatening assault against a player on the other team? There should have been arrests, not escorts.
posted by jenkinsEar at 4:45 AM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


yeah good on them for not actively committing a hate crime

we should get them trophies for their bare minimum show of humanity
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:14 AM on April 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Now I'm disheartened.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:40 AM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


...the opposing coach stepped in and calmed his team as the police met the Betsy Layne team at their hotel and defused the situation.

"Defusing the situation" would have consisted of arresting people who attempted to carry out an anti-gay lynching.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:09 AM on April 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm glad his team and school supported him, and can appreciate why the story chose to focus on that.

But the lack of response from the other schools and the system generally is the problem here. It's not just that one team engaged in harassment, threats, and chasing - apparently there were other schools where problems happened, if I read this right - and that issue needs to be addressed. Some disqualifications, suspensions, and arrests might not be out of order.
posted by nubs at 8:10 AM on April 2, 2015


The hate school appears to be Bryan Station, which scored 32 points over Betsy Layne. Cursory searching reveals more bad news for Bryan Station: it appears to be Lexington's only school with a persistent low-achieving label, and an audit released earlier this week paints a pretty grim picture of the operation. And Bryan Station also has a food pantry . And race. Race.

I just can't. Kids who've been dealt a bad hand, given a poor start, no, deprived of a fair shot have been terrible to a gay kid. I'm not defending these kids actions here. There's no excuse to found in poverty, or class or race or any of that that allows, gives anyone permission to hate another person like this. Because it's wrong. But I also don't think these kids have many champions. "Gods" food pantry included. So that's pretty disheartening.

But the good things - he's out and in the news! That is brave. And people should know - Betsy Lane is small. And his team didn't turn him out, and many provided real support. And his coach supported him, and even the cops were helpful. The hotel even made an entire floor off limits for them.

As for justice/punishment/mighty internet vengance, it's a question of what Kentucky High School Athletic Association does as far as sanctions for the handshake, and what Bryan Station does to address the post game behavior of it's players .
posted by zenon at 8:21 AM on April 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


...and since the other school wasn't responsive (because they were on break) the author didn't have access to determine what, if any, punishment they received? Possibly? I personally am not willing to brand an entire team as a pack of animals based on lack of information.

I'm really glad this kid's coming out experience was made better by the actions of his friends and teammates. There is hope.
posted by disclaimer at 8:26 AM on April 2, 2015


...I am, however, willing to brand the attackers as a pack of animals. I am just hoping that the pack is smaller than "the entire school/sports organization".
posted by disclaimer at 8:28 AM on April 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I found it pretty frustrating that the opposing school's identity seems to have been protected "because the school is on spring break and administrators were not able to answer emails and phone calls to the principal and athletic director." Being on spring break doesn't seem sufficient justification for masking this horrible behavior that very publicly represented this school.
posted by joan cusack the second at 8:53 AM on April 2, 2015


Teenagers. Some of the worst people I've ever had the unfortunate luck to have met. I should know, I was one once.
posted by qcubed at 9:13 AM on April 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


The day Disney makes this movie (with that team winning the tournament) is the day I consider our dark days of discrimination for homosexuality to be over and we can move onto fixing the next hate filled injustice.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 9:58 AM on April 2, 2015


I found it pretty frustrating that the opposing school's identity seems to have been protected "because the school is on spring break and administrators were not able to answer emails and phone calls to the principal and athletic director." Being on spring break doesn't seem sufficient justification for masking this horrible behavior that very publicly represented this school.

Understandable. Yet, at the same time, we know the effect of the Internet Hate Machine. Let's pretend that they released the name of the school. Without knowing which team members were involved in attacking the boy, it would leave the whole team subject to retribution by the angered masses. As much as I'd like to wallop these kids with a dose of "grow the fuck up" impact therapy, I don't think it's fair to subject the whole team and school to that kind of attention.

The appropriate action here is to let the system work if at all possible.
posted by disclaimer at 10:18 AM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


The appropriate action here is to let the system work if at all possible.

Speaking as a person who has felt hunted by guys screaming "Faggot!" I strongly agree. In this case, there are probably licence numbers, etc. So there's an identifiable group of pursuers - in my heart of hearts, I'd like to imagine there were people among them who were saying "Come on. Lay off. This is stupid."

And you can't tell me that at least one of the kids in the bus that was being pursued (or on the other side) wasn't recording this on a phone.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:45 PM on April 2, 2015


Given this happened over Christmas, 'let the system work' appears to result in shit-all happening to the teams that threatened and terrorized a kid. So yeah, I'm with the 'not heartening'. I mean, yeah, it's good that at least his own team and school responded with at least minimum decency but it basically says that the cops and basketball association are just fine with this kind of terrorism.
posted by tavella at 10:14 PM on April 2, 2015


Can we at least take heart that change is happening? Even in rural Kentucky. One school has progressed. Others will follow. It's small steps, yes, and there's obviously huge community resistance given the lack of consequence for the offending team — but, still, progress.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:11 AM on April 3, 2015


Born in KY. So glad I left the place. I went back in the 80's with a non-white wife. Everywhere we went people just stopped and starred at us. It was surreal. This was in Louisville, the largest and most metropolitan city. Fuck them. Thankfully I don't have anyone there I want to visit any longer.
posted by e40 at 12:14 PM on April 4, 2015


Update from Outsports, confirming my ID of Bryan Station High School, and includes a censored (as it should be) picture of the incident. Bryan Station principal claims an investigation is ongoing, but they "have found several gross inaccuracies that cast doubt on the legitimacy of the story." So I'm feeling a little more pessimistic about whatever process they've got going for addressing the incident and dealing with the hate speech.
posted by zenon at 9:16 PM on April 22, 2015


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