Dover Superintendent Robert Becker said his district’s boys basketball players were subjected to racist slurs like “ashy knees” and “Build the wall” by some Jefferson High School fans Friday.
In an extraordinary and sweeping statement citing Michelle Obama as well as Dover’s long history of ethnic diversity, Becker said, “I personally feel a sense of anger and frustration that our students were subjected to speech which was discriminatory and hateful in nature. This cannot be tolerated and will not stand.”
Jefferson fans chanted “ashy knees” at an African-American player for Dover when he shot foul shots, according to Becker, and fans also chanted “build the wall” while Dover, which has a number of Hispanic players, warmed up before the game.
Becker said he has been working with his administration as well as officials in Jefferson to get the specifics of the “behaviors exhibited by a small but vocal part of the Jefferson student body during the basketball game.” He added that Athletic Director Sean Bullock is filing a formal complaint at the county level as well as at the state level with the NJSIAA. Principal Robert Franks is meeting with parents and students to confirm what took place at the game. Dover is still examining what transpired, but Becker did point out shortcomings in Jefferson’s response.