The student section at a Pittsford (N.Y.) Sutherland High boys' basketball game is under fire after a YouTube video captured Knights fans chanting, "We want Slurpees," at an unnamed Indian-American player for visiting Rochester (N.Y.) Brighton High.
The leader of Pittsford's school-sanctioned "Super Fan" club led the group in a chant aimed at the stereotype of Indian-Americans as 7-Eleven employees while the Brighton player attempted a pair of free throws, according to WROC-TV in Upstate New York (h/t Deadspin). The student, selected by the school for the "leadership position," according to WHAM-TV, was escorted from the game and is expected to be removed from the post.
"We're trying to find that balance between appropriately disciplining someone who was in a leadership role and finding a way to find the right type of discipline for those who were in the follower-type role,” Pittsford Schools superintendent Mike Pero told the ABC affiliate.
The Pittsford "Super Fan" sent an email apology to the Brighton player, according to WHEC-TV. Likewise, Pero and Brighton Central Schools superintendent Kevin McGowan released a joint statement expressing their disappointment in an incident they hope teaches a lesson to both schools about the dangers of intolerance.
The Brighton player, who declined interview requests from multiple media outlets, got the last laugh, sinking the second of two free throws and leaving Pittsford with a 56-35 victory.
"It's my understanding that he carried himself with great dignity and grace and continued to play basketball,” McGowan told WHAM-TV. “He really focused on the task at hand (and) seemed to be aware certainly that it happened, but was focused on the game."
Somehow, Pittsford Sutherland High was one of four finalists named to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association's "Battle of the Fans Competition this season, according to Rochester's Democrat and Chronicle. Naturally, Pittsford school officials have since withdrawn from the competition.
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