UPDATE: School board member resigns over controversial jersey names with racial slurs

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UPDATE: School board member resigns over controversial jersey names with racial slurs

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Jerseys worn by Kings schools students playing on a recreational basketball team have drawn national attention for their racist nature. Tony Rue took photos of jerseys at a recreational league basketball game held Sunday at West Clermont Middle School. Photo courtesy of WCPO-TV

Jerseys with thinly veiled racial slurs worn by a recreational basketball team that included Kings Local School District students have caused the team to be thrown out of the league, according to reports from our media partner WCPO-TV.

UPDATE, 2:56 p.m.

A Kings school board member, whose son was among those involved in a racist jersey incident, says he will resign from the board.

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Kerry McKiernan told his fellow members on the Kings Board of Education during a meeting Tuesday evening.

“I’m very sad and disappointed and regretful,” McKiernan said, according the audio record from the board meeting.

“To whatever degree I’m responsible I accept that responsibility and I apologize on behalf of Kings to anybody who was hurt,” he said with his voice cracking. “I could have done more.

“There is not place for hate or prejudice anywhere, certainly not in Kings. It breaks my Christian heart. I’m very sorry.

“We must learn that some things can never be tolerated. To whatever degree I can help, I will.

“I’m resigning because someone has to be responsible.”

Dawn Gould, spokeswoman for Kings Schools, said officials were surprised by the incident and are scrambling to make “a positive from a negative.”

“It’s a learning opportunity,” she said.

Gould said the incident will be discussed with all Kings High School students on Friday during regularly scheduled grade-wide meetings.

She said McKiernan’s resignation at this point is verbal and board members are anticipating a letter of resignation soon. The board will formally accept McKiernan’s resignation during a meeting next week.

Under Ohio school law, the board will have 30 days to appoint a new member to fill McKiernan’s seat.

ORIGINAL REPORT

Jerseys with thinly veiled racial slurs worn by a recreational basketball team that included Kings Local School District students have caused the team to be thrown out of the league, according to reports from our media partner WCPO-TV.

The names on the backs of the jerseys included "Knee Grow" and "Coon." The team played in the Cincinnati Premier Youth Basketball League and had its game stopped early on Sunday. The league banished the team for the season, WCPO reported.

Tony Rue took photos of jerseys at a recreational league basketball game held Sunday at West Clermont Middle School. Photo courtesy of WCPO

The team also had a sexually suggestive name, Wet Dream Team, according to WCPO.

In a statement on Facebook, Kings Local Superintendent Tim A. Ackermann said the team was not affiliated with the district.

“Our job as educators is to help guide our students to do what is right. We have to do better,” Ackermann said. “We will do better.”

In a statement released to WCPO, Kings division coordinator Charrise Middleton said Kings Rec Basketball "does not in any way support or condone the uniform infractions that occurred." 

The team's unnamed coach offered this statement through Middleton to WCPO:

"We sincerely apologize to anyone that was offended by the jerseys. We offered to cover them up or change, however the league saw fit to remove us and we have accepted that decision."

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