A girl’s basketball team from Plainfield High School in New Jersey was welcomed to a school they’d be playing against with a black dummy with a string tied around its neck and a basketball at the end of it.
While changing in a classroom at Arthur L. Johnson High School in Clark, New Jersey on Saturday morning, the team noticed the dummy which also had bulging eyes and its mouth appeared to be open as if it were gasping for air.
The Courier News and Home Tribune reports that the team went on to play their game, losing 64-20 and immediately left the school.
“We have been made aware that a picture taken by the coach or a member of the Plainfield Girl’s Basketball Team has been posted on social media of a puppet that was reportedly posed in a classroom located in the Clark Public Schools,” Edward Grande, superintendent of Clark Public Schools. “The Clark Board Education and the Clark Community does not condone any demonstrations of intolerance.”
The area also has a history of racism within high school athletics, citing the suspension of a group of high school wrestlers after a photo of them simulating a lynching was found. Anther incident occurred North Plainfield High School players walked into a locker room to find a banana waiting for them. The hosting high school claimed that it was a tradition meant to offer good luck.
Plainfield, New Jersey reportedly has a 50 Black percent population, compared to one of less than 1 percent in Clark.
While the school board released a statement saying it will be investigating the incident with the girl’s basketball team, it also claimed that “it is premature to make any further statements until such time as the investigation is completed.”