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Basketball jerseys get Ohio youth team booted from recreational league

Cincinnati NAACP wants to sit down with league
Posted at 2:49 PM, Jan 08, 2018

BATAVIA, Ohio -- A stir rippled through the stands at West Clermont Middle School on Sunday afternoon.

By early Monday, it reached as far as the Cincinnati branch of the NAACP. And a boys basketball team was sidelined for the rest of the season.

The team had a sexually suggestive name -- Wet Dream Team. And parent Tony Rue said their jerseys had thinly veiled racial slurs, offending many people in the stands.

Rue was there for his son's recreational basketball league. A team of boys from West Clermont High School was playing a team from Kings High. The team's aren't affiliated with the school districts, other than renting space and having players who are students.

The Cincinnati Premier Youth Basketball League called the game before it was over because of the Kings' boys' jerseys. 

Rue took photos. One player's said "Knee Grow." Another's: "Coon." Rue can't figure out how the jerseys got past printers and parents and even the team's coach.

"I couldn't have made this up and had anyone believe me, I couldn't have," he said. "You're talking eight, nine layers of people and adults seeing these jerseys and thinking it's just a joke."

Joe Mallory, vice president of the Cincinnati NAACP, said his organization is investigating and wants to sit down with the league.

In a statement Monday, Kings division coordinator Charrise Middleton said the team was immediately removed from the league once she learned about the uniforms. That team won't return to play this season, she said.

"Kings Rec Basketball for grades 7-12 does not in any way support or condone the uniform infractions that occurred," Middleton said. "We strictly follow and support the rules set out by (Cincinnati Premier Youth Basketball League) and fully support their decision to remove the team from play as well."

Through Middleton, the team coach also had a statement:

"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."