West African High School Student Taunted By Soccer Team With Ebola Chant

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

Soccer coaches at a Pennsylvania high school have resigned after reports that their male players taunted an African player with racial slurs and a chant about Ebola last week.

School officials say students at Northampton Area High School may also face discipline over the incident.

The West African student plays at Nazareth High School.

"He was upset on the field, he was upset when I saw him after the game, he was upset when he came home," said his guardian, Edward Bachert.

Many of the teen’s relatives still live in Guinea, where new cases of Ebola continued to be reported, according to the CDC.

"You don't realize how hurtful some of these things really are until you see it firsthand," Bachert said.

He said the coaches made the right decision by resigning.

Students at the teen’s school rallied behind him, selling wristbands that say “#ENDRACISM.”

"I take pride in my soccer team. They are like my brothers. When racial slurs are being said we as a team take it very personally," a Nazareth player tweeted.

"Literally lost all my respect for that team and it's coaches, after being racist and getting a kid sent off you don't hi five your friend,” tweeted another.

One Nazareth student told Morning Call that if the allegations are true Northampton players should be punished.

"And they should have to apologize," sophomore Marissa Plows said.

School officials would not disclose what was said to the Nazareth player.

Similar taunts have been reported across the globe. Players for Sierra Leone’s exiled national soccer team say they are also taunted with chants of “Ebola,” the New York Times reported Monday.

“You feel humiliated, like garbage, and you want to punch someone,” John Trye, a reserve goalkeeper, told The Times. “No one wants to have Ebola in their country. Sierra Leone is struggling. And they shove it in our face. That’s not fair.”

Sources: Patch.com, Morning Call (2), New York Times

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons / Tom Childers, HighSchoolSports.PennLive.com